Exclusively for IAFF members.
It’s okay to ask for help.

Treatment for successful recovery from substance abuse, PTSD and
other behavioral health issues.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the IAFF Center of Excellence has created some helpful resources for our patients and their families.

Our Center

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind treatment facility specializing in PTSD for professional fire service members who struggle with trauma, substance use, addiction and other related behavioral health challenges. It is a safe haven for members to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery and share experiences with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.

gym and fitness center at IAFF

Thoughtful Design

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.
outdoor space at IAFF

Natural Serenity

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.

members sitting at table at IAFF

Knowledgeable Staff

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.

What Our Patients Say

Daniel Bo G.
Daniel Bo G.
1708706130
When firefighters need help, this place saves lives. I was so so scared to ask for help, but knowing what I know now, I would have called sooner. Words don’t express the gratitude I feel for getting my life back. Making the call is the hardest part, but they are with you every step after that. It’s ok to not be ok, call your MAYDAY! If you are suffering, please call, you are worth it. And the sunsets are remarkable! I appreciate the little things again!
Jeffrey O.
Jeffrey O.
1708620171
The COE is a life changing experience. I came here not knowing what to expect and was welcomed with open arms and immediately felt at home. The staff here is amazing and will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. My only regret is not coming here earlier.
Cavason S.
Cavason S.
1708449923
I enjoyed my stay at the COE. They have a top notch program with an amazing staff. Everyone at the COE is committed to your treatment and wellness. They make you feel like family, with loving compassionate care.
Christopher S.
Christopher S.
1708360802
This facility and staff have indelibly changed my life. If you are reading this and questioning…..call. Mark and his staff will advocate for you in ways you won’t expect. I am eternally grateful for the time here and for the fellow brothers and sisters that helped me on my journey. Forever in my heart.
Kyle Z.
Kyle Z.
1708360772
This place changed my life. I came in broken, lost and in shambles. Through the experience at the COE I regained my true-self and my independence. I made lasting friendships while also repairing my relationships with my family and closest friends back home. The clinical staff are all incredible and masters of their craft. The entire organization is run by a man who is the true definition of a leader and he visibly inspires those around him. If you are reading this and are struggling, just know that you are not alone. This place works. Make the call.
Chris F.
Chris F.
1708108316
The Center of Excellence has changed my life. This is a Class A operation for mental health and addiction.
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About Our Program

Care for your unique needs

If you’re struggling with post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety or substance abuse disorders, you need treatment from professionals who understand the fire service culture and the unique pressures of your job. The IAFF Center of Excellence connects you to best-practice, evidence-based therapies delivered by clinicians who understand the types of trauma you experience on a day-to-day basis.

Completely confidential treatment

Center staff cannot discuss your treatment with anyone — your fire department, family or friends — unless given explicit permission by you. This applies before, during and after your stay at the IAFF Center of Excellence.

Our Partner: Advanced Recovery Systems

With eight treatment centers across the United States, the continuum of care provided by Advanced Recovery Systems is unsurpassed. The IAFF has partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to provide members with specialized treatment for the everyday stressors that trigger PTSD, behavioral health disorders and substance abuse.

iaff logo
advanced reocvery systems logo

We Can Help

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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.

Substance Abuse

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.

Behavioral Health

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.

We Can Help

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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.

Substance Abuse

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.

Behavioral Health

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.

Recovery Stories

Richard Stack IAFF Recovery Story

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