First responders wake up every day with the goal of keeping us safe. Firefighters rescue us from burning buildings. Police officers serve and protect. Paramedics and EMTs can literally save our lives. However, these amazing acts of courage don’t come without a price.
Oftentimes, first responders are among the first to witness a tragedy. Such a tragedy may include an active crime scene or even a gruesome death like a mass shooting. As a result, many first responders turn to substance abuse to cope with frequently seeing these horrific scenes.
How First Responders Deal With Trauma
First responders are under constant stress due to the nature of the job and long hours. They are trained to keep composed. However, they are human beings, and said stress can become physically and emotionally draining.
A 2018 SAMHSA study estimated that 30% of first responders develop mental health conditions such as depression and PTSD. To emphasize the seriousness of this statistic, the general public experiences the same issues about 20%.
Due to this incredibly high statistic, first responders often self-medicate as a way of dealing with the life-threatening aspects of the job. In addition to the alcoholism and drug addiction that can develop, dual diagnosis – a mental illness coupled with a substance addiction – can creep from the shadows.
How Substance Abuse Affects Intimate Relationships
Sometimes our mood at work follows us home, and now our addiction begins to affect those we love, like our spouse or romantic partner. Our brain is more focused on our addiction rather than showing affection toward our loved ones. Sometimes we are aware of this, so we become isolated and ashamed of ourselves.
Because of the lack of intimacy, we (or our partner) may feel unloved and fear the relationship could come to an end. This fear can sometimes lead to violence.
However, a spouse can help by first understanding the struggles that their partner is experiencing. A spouse can even encourage them to seek addiction treatment, as the added pressure from the workplace or society might deter them from seeking help.
Vanity Wellness Can Bring Back Intimacy
We understand that first responders help those in need, so we at Vanity want to help you. Our rehabilitation center offers a myriad of programs and addiction treatments to bring that spark of intimacy back into the relationship.
With our dual diagnosis treatment, our licensed professionals can give you the strength to send your dual diagnosis back into the shadows, and psychiatry can help keep it there.
The exceptional Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) here at Vanity takes place Monday – Friday from 9AM – 3:30PM. With our flexible schedule, we provide various therapies – individual, group, and trauma related – that offer the perfect opportunity to converse with others in a similar situation. More importantly, it’s a chance at strengthening the communication between you and your partner.
By taking advantage of our special program rooms, you can express yourself in the art room, or practice meditation and achieve inner peace with a yoga session. Remember, reducing stress is critical to avoid relapse.
Sober living welcomes couples so you and your romantic partner can go through the addiction recovery journey hand in hand, thus creating that intimacy you once shared.
Vanity Wellness has the utmost respect for first responders and their families. They are heroes and we treat them as such. Superman had his kryptonite, but he was a hero nonetheless.