“It is estimated that there could be as many as 2.3 million fire, police and emergency medical personnel out there that we could consider first responders,”
Eatontown, New Jersey (PRWEB) October 14, 2016
Healthcare management company The Sprout Health Group (http://www.sprouthealthgroup.com) has recently introduced a new critical stress response program designed for first responders at their Advanced Health and Education facility in Eatontown, New Jersey. The group owns and operates drug and alcohol rehab centers as well as medical detox facilities across the United States.
The program, named “Frontline” (http://www.frontlinerehab.com) is designed to quickly attend to the mental health and well-being of response community members following critical incidents or unexpected traumatic events such as the recent attack on the Orlando nightclub or the violence seen in cities like Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Baltimore. Frontline is also designed to address the long-term effects of critical stress on responders from the daily stress and pressure of the job.
John Becker Jr, who has stepped in as the Director of Services at the New Jersey facility, is also a retired law enforcement officer. According to Becker, with the added stress of increased scrutiny, civil unrest and recent attacks on responders, especially law enforcement, there is a greater chance for long-term issues as these responders inadequately cope with short-term but constant stress. Becker has experience as a police officer, clinician, and outreach professional. He is an active member of the Montgomery County (PA) Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team and is certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) for individual and group interventions. Becker is also a member of the National Police Suicide Foundation and has provided training to first responder agencies throughout the country.
Because the end result of responder career pressures often result in addictions or severe mental and emotional struggles, The Frontline Program is driven by trained responders that address the psychological, physical, mental and emotional needs of victims or those effected.
“We understand these unique needs” stated Becker. “This program has been designed to immediately meet these responders right where they are on day one and bring them back to their full potential and return them to their own communities.”
During the course of Frontline’s involvement, each client is assigned a responder/practitioner and treatment is customized to meet the individual where they are in the career and in their struggle while addressing issues such as addiction or substance abuse. The new program’s staff has been specifically chosen to create a team of specialists that understand the underlying sources and causes of problems specific to first responders and their families.
Studies have shown that addiction is a steadily rising menace in the United States amongst first responders and despite massive outreach efforts, few seek treatment due to fear of reprisal, rejection, loss of job and even the withdrawal itself. Due to the complex nature of recovery and the individuality of each case, The Sprout Health Group stays involved in each case alongside the Frontline Program to aid in the process.
“Many of our responders are self-treating with pharmaceuticals,” stated Frontline Executive Director Mark Lamplugh, Jr. “Without the recommendation and supervision of a health care specialist, many of these addiction situations arise quickly and spiral out of control”.
Due to the ramifications of addiction on the family unit, the Frontline Program has been constructed to include the families of responders as well, assisting them in recovering and coping as a unit.
According to Lamplugh, drugs such as valium and Xanax which are normally used for relaxation are being abused along with Alcohol and prescription pain medication. Lamplugh is a responder himself; a fourth-generation firefighter and former captain with the Lower Chichester Fire Company. Lamplugh is nationally recognized in Crisis Stress Intervention through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and has worked with many public safety individuals such as firefighters, police officers, veterans, EMS personnel, and civilians nationwide in an effort to lower PTSD and addiction statistics through treatment services and mental health support counseling,
“This is a program specifically designed by addiction and mental health professionals in collaboration with men and women that have served as responders,” Lamplugh explained. “There is an understanding that is needed when dealing with these specific needs that ae being experienced by responders. This program was designed to be comprehensive in order to meet those needs.”
Speaking about the most recent attacks in New York and New Jersey so soon after the 15th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Lamplugh addressed the enormity of the situation.
“It is estimated that there could be as many as 2.3 million fire, police and emergency medical personnel out there that we could consider first responders,” Lamplugh explained. “The problem is, with larger or more frequent attacks, we are adding to the potential stress and subsequent effects of that stress throughout a larger group which could encompass as many as 9 to 10 million in the public emergency response community. This does not include the 6 to 7 million construction workers in the United States who could be called up to respond in the wake of a massive event like September 11. It’s a changing world creating more need than we ever imagined.”
“Our Frontline program addresses the public safety culture in a time when that culture is dealing with high levels of stress caused by many of the incidents we are seeing on the news every day,” added, Becker. “We are seeing more intense and prolonged exposure to extreme tragedies and events which is creating a greater problem within this population.” “We are able to provide our clients with the ability to address their drug or alcohol problem as well as the underlying causes and stresses that come with today’s issues in public safety. Frontline is combining substance abuse treatment with treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and other mental health issues.”
The goal of The Sprout Health Group is to create a productive and efficient means of reaching into the responder community with much-needed support, treatment and wellness promotion.