Why Dual-Diagnosis Programs Are Beneficial For First Responders

First responders are the true American heroes. Paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officials such as police officers, work tirelessly so society can feel safe and secure. First responders are the solution to situations that seem like they have no solution. They display a level of courage that is almost unfathomable during the typical ‘work day’. At Quest 2 Recovery, we feel it’s important to acknowledge and honor these individuals, so we created an addiction program specifically for first responders. We want to thank them for everything they do and hope to take care of them the way they take care of us.

Due to the stressful and traumatic nature of the job, first responders are prone to developing issues related to addiction, drug abuse, and mental health disorders. Often these disorders co-exist amongst each other, thus the creation of dual-diagnosis programs in addiction treatment.

What Is a Dual-Diagnosis Program?

A dual-diagnosis program is the term used to describe a treatment center that has the capabilities of treating addiction and mental health disorders. Common disorders that are treated together are addiction and anxiety, addiction and depression, and addiction, and PTSD. On average, 67% of alcoholics are diagnosed with a depressive disorder and 75% of opioid addicts receive a similar diagnosis. That’s a tough pill to swallow, no pun intended. 

Dual-diagnosis programs function similarly to non-dual-diagnosis addiction programs. Our clients at Quest 2 Recovery will start their recovery journey with detoxification (if needed), then progress to inpatient treatment. During this time their addiction will be addressed through individual therapy and group therapy while utilizing therapies such as cognitive-behavioral and dialect behavioral to address mental illness. 

Mental Health and First Responders

It’s no secret that stress and trauma have a negative impact on physical and emotional health. Because first responders perform a job that requires troubleshooting and mitigating emergencies, mental health issues are all too common for them, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is triggered by a terrifying event. Since everyone is different and processes trauma in different ways, symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person. Symptoms are grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. At Quest 2 Recovery we provide individualized care for all of our clients so we can effectively address these symptoms. 

Chemical Dependency and First Responders

It’s also common for first responders to develop substance abuse disorders. Sometimes it can develop relatively innocuously. Generally speaking, working professionals look forward to unwinding after work with a drink. Sometimes it’s in the comfort of their own home or sometimes with friends. The same goes for first responders. The difference between the two is the person working a desk job probably doesn’t have trouble sleeping at night, whereas the first responder may be up all night reliving the trauma they experienced during the day. The one drink the first responder uses to unwind after work could turn into drinking an entire bottle so they can fall asleep.

No one wakes up randomly one day and becomes an addict. Addiction is something that develops over time, especially when unresolved trauma and stress build up. We hope if you’re a first responder struggling with mental illness and addiction and reading this now, you’ll reach out to us for help. We know it can be challenging for first responders to seek help because they’re worried about the stigma of ‘not being able to handle the job’, but getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. 

Quest 2 Recovery Is Here for You

At Quest 2 Recovery, we are a dual diagnosis, substance abuse program that offers detoxification and residential inpatient levels of care. We are here to also serve first responders who are located in the Los Angeles and Southern California area. We know that first responders often suffer from both substance abuse disorders as well as mental health issues. We believe that both should be addressed together in a safe environment. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with addiction treatment, please give us a call today! 

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