Addiction Treatment For First Responders
True North Recovery Services is proud to be a safe place for members of law enforcement, fire service, and emergency medical services to find the help they need. Unfortunately, the price of serving others—often on the worst day of their lives—is a personal addiction.
First responders are a very high-risk group for problems such as alcohol use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. No matter who you are, sometimes you can see too much, too often. Without proper support, it can get the best of you. There is no shame in this. It’s just a fact of our humanity. Asking for help can be a frightening proposition for a person who has had to stand strong and tall for years.
We came to this work naturally as a facility. One of the counselors in our program, Michael Koch, had been a police officer in the past for nearly twenty years. Ultimately, his bout with addiction brought him to his knees and he lost his badge. It’s amazing that his work as an individual has brought him to a place personally where he is so passionate about helping others. He shares his story now at the police academy he attended to help end the stigma of asking for help.
Michael serves as primary counselor to any first responder who comes into the program. His experience and passion are unparalleled and it truly is the difference for many. In his words, “I want to help these people get better before they lose their careers. If my experience can help them, it was all worth it to me.”
Below you will find some of the things that make True North a great place for first responders to get help:
- Weekly, onsite, private 12-step meeting for first responders only and access to other similar community-based groups for first responders only
- Primary counselor who was a first responder for 19 years and has CISM training
- Clinical director who is trained in multiple modalities of PTSD treatment and has treated many first responders over the years. Also completed training for EMT-Basic
- Flexibility in scheduling to accommodate scheduling difficulties
- Access to network of other providers and programs that specialize in working with first responders
- Positive relationships with several department wellness committees and peer support professionals
A staff with an average length of time in the field of more than 15 years
- Medical director who is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and has completed two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Kuwait
- Physician assistant who served in the Navy
- Intake and admissions counselor who has lived abroad, including at an US Embassy, and understands security and military life
- Entire staff has had extensive additional training in trauma