Addiction in the Fire Service: Training for Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Dispatchers

Estimated watch time: 1 hr 32 minutes

Objectives and Summary:

This presentation will address various types of substance use disorders and addiction experienced among firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers. Viewers will gain insight into the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, as well as learn about the resources available for individuals, peers, friends, family and loved ones. We will also address how the current pandemic has changed the dynamic of recovery and substance abuse trends in this unprecedented time.

After watching this webinar the user will:

  • Define addiction and discuss the ways in which addiction impacts the person, family, and community around them. We will discuss chemical dependency, as well as compulsive behaviors, and how addiction commonly presents itself within the fire service.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder, and discuss protective and risk factors for fire service members in regards to the likelihood of developing an addiction or engaging in compulsive behaviors.
  • Overview of commonly misused or abused substances within the fire service population, with an emphasis on observations made in clients and alumni of the Center of Excellence. We will also cover how chronic trauma exposure relates to addiction, and discuss the ways trauma exposure impacts the Autonomic Nervous System. We will review the relationship between compulsive eating, increased sexual activity, and testosterone misuse in relation to trauma and accessing the Para-Sympathetic Nervous System.
  • Discussion on available behavioral health treatment options for fire service members, how to help a peer in the fire service, and review the Stages of Change model.

This presentation is ideal for IAFF members, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and other individuals in a capacity to support first responders struggling with or in recovery from addiction or a substance use disorder.

Presentation Materials: