Our Center

Never before has there been a place specifically designed for IAFF members to face their behavioral health issues head on and get back to the job they love and rebuild the life they deserve.

Who We Are

IAFF members are twice as likely as the general population to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring addictions. That’s why a treatment center specifically for the fire service is more important now than ever before. The IAFF Center of Excellence provides evidence-based care for addiction and co-occurring disorders, including PTSD, anxiety and depression. Through an essential partnership between the IAFF and Advanced Recovery Systems, a nationwide leader in rehabilitation and behavioral health, the IAFF Center of Excellence is a flagship recovery center where IAFF members can face their struggles directly.
IAFF and Advanced Recovery Systems Logos

The Setting

Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the IAFF Center for Excellence is just 30 minutes from Washington, DC, and an hour from Dulles International Airport. The 15-acre campus location is ideal for focusing on treatment and recovery.

A Center just for IAFF Members

The IAFF Center of Excellence is exclusively for IAFF members who struggle with alcoholism or drug abuse and need help addressing co-occurring behavioral health issues such as PTSD, depression or anxiety. You’ll feel as though you are among your brothers and sisters — because you are.

On-Campus Amenities

  • Weight Fully Equipped Gym
  • Tree Outdoor Reading & Reflection Areas
  • Basketball Hoop Volleyball & Basketball Courts

Our Staff

At the IAFF Center of Excellence, you’ll form relationships with doctors, nurses and other clinicians who will help you on your way to recovery. During your treatment, it is our goal to deliver the highest-quality care possible. That’s why we’ve chosen senior staff with extensive experience and a commitment to care.

Tim Craig, Operations Director

Tim is an administrator and consultant with 30+ years of experience in healthcare and human services. He has an extensive and varied background in behavioral health, with a focus on the provision of services to individuals with substance use disorders. He has served as the director of several treatment programs, and as an administrator within multiple health systems. Tim received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Masters in Social Work and a Certificate in Social Administration from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Dr. Abby Morris, Medical Director

A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Morris is responsible for all inpatient care, training and future planning and for developing a continuum of care that will follow each client throughout their stay at the center. Previous to her appointment to the IAFF Center of Excellence, Dr. Morris was the Medical Director of a 24-bed inpatient facility that treated addiction and behavioral health disorders.

Dr. O’Tilia Hunter, Clinical Director

Dr. O’Tilia Hunter, PhD, NCC, LCPC-S, LCADC-S, is a licensed clinician in the State of Maryland and Washington, DC. Dr. Hunter has worked in the human service field for 30 years, and is the founder of Spiritual Inclusion Theory, which takes a look at the benefits of spirituality as a coping mechanism for individuals. Her specialties include substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, palliative care, grief counseling, behavioral and mental health issues, as well as relationship and marriage counseling. She has recently authored and published, “Managing Your Expectations & Taking Control of Your Life”.

What to Expect During Treatment

Treatment at the IAFF Center of Excellence is evidence-based, which means each step on your path to recovery is backed by scientific research and accepted results within the scientific community. Our multidisciplinary approach — combining the expertise of doctors, nurses and clinicians from different disciplines — means we treat the whole person, not just the addiction or co-occurring disorder.
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When You Contact Us

You’ll undergo a screening process before and after you’re admitted, and will be asked about substance use, psychiatric history (including PTSD), plus medical, social and legal history, as well as discuss insurance and how to pay for treatment.

The First 24 Hours

You’ll meet with your primary care physician and therapist within 24 hours of arrival. At this time, you will undergo a medical exam and discuss goals for your treatment.

Daily Life at the IAFF Center of Excellence

The goal of your stay at the IAFF Center of Excellence is to successfully complete treatment and return to work. The activities and classes you’ll participate in and relationships you’ll build while at the IAFF Center of Excellence will give you the tools you need for a life in recovery.

Behavioral Therapies

You’ll meet with your therapist at least once a week, if not more, during your stay. You’ll discuss your goals and intentions, as well as meet for group and individual therapy weekly. You’ll attend sessions to discuss your detox process and check in with others for support.

Recreational Activities

Your schedule will revolve around your recovery, starting with gym sessions education classes such as “Setting Yourself Up for Success” and yoga or resilience training in the afternoon. You’ll also have time for reading, reflection, journaling, even a pick-up game of basketball — all essential parts of your recovery process.

Alumni Mentoring

As part of our family at the IAFF Center of Excellence, those who have been before are encouraged to return to the program to teach and mentor others. Our alumni program pairs you with a fire fighter or EMT who is in successful recovery. This person serves as an integral part of a greater support system.


Your treatment doesn’t end when you leave the IAFF Center of Excellence. As part of your continuing recovery, we’ll be there for you as you transition back into daily life outside the center.

After your discharge, you’ll receive:

  • A relapse prevention plan
  • 12-step support
  • Peer support
  • Individual or family therapy sessions
  • Return-to-Work planning and support
  • Diagnostic check-ins
  • Transition to local behavioral and physical health care providers
There is nothing more important to us than your success, and with the support of your doctors, your family and your peers in the IAFF, you can achieve lasting recovery.

Ready to get help? We’re here for you. Call 855-900-8437 or

Get Help Now
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We can help. Call 855-900-8437 or

Get Help Now