Treatment Programs

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment for behavioral health disorders and substance use disorders can lead you back to the life and job that you love.

If you are battling an addiction alongside a behavioral health issue such as depression or PTSD, then treatment for co-occurring disorders could be the best option. Because co-occurring disorders involve intense biological, behavioral and social components, treatment for these complex issues must address the whole person, not just the addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), those with co-occurring disorders are best served through integrated treatment — an approach that combines substance abuse and behavioral health services.

More cost-effective than separate behavioral health and substance abuse therapy, integrated treatment provides better outcomes for those suffering from co-occurring disorders. The combined approach includes medical, psychological, educational and social intervention to encourage sobriety while mitigating the symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Fire Fighters with Hose

Treatment Just for IAFF Members

While 92 percent of fire fighters worry that seeking treatment will be seen as a sign of weakness, the truth is that reaching out for help makes you more resilient. There is strength in numbers and in knowing that you are not alone. The IAFF Center of Excellence is specifically designed to help you on the road to recovery from substance abuse and co-occurring PTSD. The Center is available only to IAFF members, and the staff offers specialized treatment unique to your experience.

Evidence-Based Treatment

The IAFF Center of Excellence offers specialized therapy backed by science and research. The Center’s team of medical and clinical experts ensure that your treatment is appropriate and effective for addressing both PTSD and co-occurring addiction issues through integrated intervention.
Integrated intervention combines several types of therapies:

Pharmaceutical Therapy

When necessary, doctors and clinicians can provide medications that help mitigate symptoms of withdrawal and co-occurring disorders.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One-on-one sessions with a psychologist, psychiatrist or nutritionist help you modify your attitudes and behaviors related to substance abuse. Cognitive behavioral health therapy also teaches coping tactics for continued recovery.

Group Therapy

Building bonds between peers who are undergoing the same struggle can create valuable support during recovery. Group therapy sessions help members hear different perspectives and learn new strategies and realize that they aren’t alone in their struggle.
Integrated treatment can help you get back to the life you want to live and the career you love. One in five fire fighters will struggle from behavioral health issues at some point in their careers, left untreated, it can have serious consequences for their families and career. While substance abuse might seem like a quick fix to the trauma you’ve witnessed, it isn’t. The IAFF Center of Excellence can help you deal with your feelings of loss, anxiety and depression in healthy ways that will enrich your life and increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.

Support After Treatment

What happens after treatment is just as important as your time at the Center. The IAFF Center of Excellence works with you to develop a plan for continued treatment and support once you leave the Center. As you resume your daily responsibilities, you are encouraged to participate in outpatient therapy and support groups. During treatment, you’ll learn a wide range of coping skills to help when you return home, including how to manage back at the station. The goal is to return to the job you love while feeling more resilient moving forward.  

Outpatient Therapy

If you participate in outpatient therapy, you’ll continue to see your clinicians and doctors after leaving rehab and resuming your life responsibilities. Behavioral therapy, group therapy and pharmaceutical treatment also continue. Some choose to live in sober housing, especially if their home environment is not conducive to recovery.


Aftercare is one of the most important stages of rehabilitation, yet it is often overlooked. The purpose of aftercare is to solidify what was learned and accomplished during rehab and to help you fully transition into a healthy, sober recovery. During aftercare, members meet with their clinicians, continue progress in group therapy and gather additional tools to help prevent relapse. Family and spouses may also be integrated into aftercare through couples and family therapy.

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