The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind addiction treatment facility specializing in PTSD for IAFF members – and IAFF members only – who are struggling with addiction, PTSD other related behavioral health challenges to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery. It is a safe haven for members to talk with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.
Designed from the ground up with fire fighters in mind, the Center sits on a 15-acre campus and includes a state-of-the-art gym and other features that encourage physical activity to help in recovery and preparing to return to the job.
Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., the IAFF Center is surrounded by lush pine forest and features onsite areas for reflection and enjoying nature’s healing powers.
The IAFF Center is overseen by Craig L. Katz, M.D., who designed a program for first responders in the aftermath of 9/11, and Abby Morris, M.D., an expert in the behavioral healthcare field. We understand the rigors of your job, and know what it takes to help.
IAFF members struggling with post-traumatic stress along with co-occurring depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders need treatment from professionals who understand the fire service culture and the unique pressures of the job.
The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery provides comprehensive and best-practice treatment from clinicians who understand the types of trauma experienced by IAFF members. The Center uses evidence-based approaches for treating post-traumatic stress, including cognitive behavior therapy and exposure therapy, as well as other activities to assist with recovery.
Center staff cannot discuss your treatment with anyone – not your fire department, not your local – unless given explicit permission by you.
With seven treatment centers in the United States, the continuum of care provided by Advanced Recovery Systems is unsurpassed in its ability to help individuals start their journey to recovery. The IAFF has partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to provide our members the specialized treatment that goes along with the everyday stressors that can trigger PTSD, behavioral health disorders and substance abuse. Advanced Recovery Systems’ standard of excellence will continue through the sense of community fostered at the IAFF Center of Excellence.
You’re exposed to traumatic situations every day you’re on the job. For this reason, fire fighters and paramedics are twice as likely as the general population to experience PTSD. That’s why therapies to treat and recover from PTSD are first priority at the IAFF Center of Excellence. You’ll learn coping strategies, work through individual and group therapy sessions and participate in activities that will help you recover, build resilience and return to the job.
It is not uncommon when suffering from PTSD to experience co-occurring disorders, including alcohol and drug abuse as substances are sometimes used to self-medicate and escape symptoms. As part of the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach at the IAFF Center of Excellence, IAFF members struggling with addiction will receive the full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient therapy, so they can get the necessary treatment to start living fuller lives.
Depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues can also be brought on or worsened by the stresses of the job. However, through medical and pharmacological treatment and cognitive talk therapy, members can get behavioral health treatment in a caring and supportive atmosphere that understands the fire service culture.