First Responders Program
Your job is to protect the public. Our job is to protect your health.
At a Glance
The clinical team
includes first responders, some in recovery themselves.
Private living quarters and treatment space
with other first responders allows for open, honest interaction.
Peer support groups
give you a dedicated, confidential space to discuss the issues you face.
Highlights of the First Responders Program
First responders face higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide than the general public. The reasons vary, but generally first responders—from members of the military and correctional officers to police officers and firefighters—deal daily with fight-or-flight and life-threatening situations, on-the-job injuries, and public mistrust. At the same time, they deal with ordinary stresses that can be magnified due to the demands of the job, from parenting and marriage to financial and health issues.
If you are struggling with an inability to control or stop that use, you are not alone.
Caron Can Help You
Located at Caron Pennsylvania, the First Responders Program is staffed by a clinical team that together has more than 50 years of experience treating first responders, along with a combined 70 years in recovery and more than 80 years of on-the-job experience.
The First Responders Program is for active and retired law enforcement officers, career and volunteer firefighters, EMTs/paramedics, 911 dispatchers, correctional officers, and military veterans, reservists and guardsmen.
Foundational Treatment Elements
Caron’s program is designed to provide privacy and build cohesion and camaraderie among first responders in treatment. Our team of experts uses those bonds to facilitate your treatment and recovery. These components work together to meet the unique needs of first responders:
- Private living quarters and treatment space.
- Peer support group: This confidential space is dedicated to straightforward, honest discussions regarding various issues you face.
- Specialty groups: Groups address parenting, trauma, chronic pain, depression, relapse, and grief and loss, among others. A specialized group to deal with process addictions like gambling, sex, work, internet, and eating is available as are opportunities to participate in opioid-specific treatment.
- Psychoeducational workshops: A therapist whose career has been dedicated to working with first responders leads workshops on topics like hypermasculinity, maintaining recovery in a drinking culture, ease of access to drugs, dealing with fears, and using camaraderie to support recovery.
- Visits with colleagues.
- Spirituality services: A spiritual counselor who has worked with first responders and veterans provides spirituality services individualized for your needs, including access to non-religious support.
- Off-campus 12-Step meetings.
- Trauma programming: Caron uses evidence-based treatment modalities, including cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) as well as specialty groups dedicated to learning how to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Holistic therapies: Good nutrition and fitness activities enable you to take care of your physical and spiritual needs, important components of treatment. Our staff will also work with you to help you create plans for keeping up with these therapies long term.
- Relapse prevention: When clinically appropriate, there are opportunities to participate in relapse prevention work.
Support for the Whole Family
At Caron, we believe it is critical for the family to be part of their loved one’s treatment process. That’s why we include family members in our multi-day family program. It is designed to provide family members with the information they need to better understand substance use disorder, mental health disorders, and how best to support their loved one in their recovery.
We also provide a children’s program that offers education and counseling geared to the needs and concerns of children 7-15 years old. Our staff is experienced at talking to children in language they understand, and we offer their adult caregivers tips for how to do that as well.
First responders with extensive clinical experience lead the expert treatment team.
The team also includes licensed psychologists and psychiatrists, highly credentialed behavioral health therapists, and family therapists.
Continuing care options provide structured support and accountability.
Evidence-based research shows that long-term recovery is best accomplished with structured support that encourages accountability and builds self-esteem. Caron has developed robust continuing care options that meet your and your family’s needs.
- Continuing care planning: The treatment team collaborates to develop a continuing care plan for you that includes tools and recommendations for recovery when you return home.
- Return to work: Your treatment team will always respect your confidentiality and privacy, but if you would like to, they can help arrange meetings with your union rep, EAP, supervisor, and others to plan for your return to work.
- Peer network: Your treatment team can put you in touch with a peer in the same job and living in your home area to provide support and recommendations during your early recovery.
Creating a Healthy Life in Recovery
My First Year of Recovery provides accountability and support in early recovery as you navigate the challenges and milestones of building a healthy, rewarding life.
Facilitated by highly trained clinical staff, Breakthrough Personal Growth Workshops on our Pennsylvania campus help people build deeper connections and find greater happiness.