Breaking the Cycle: First Responders, Trauma, and Substance Use


Presented by Anna Lisa De Lima, PhD, MA, LHMC, NCC.



This course awards 1.25 CE Hours.

The hazards of the first responder’s job include exposure to trauma resulting in mental health issues such as PTSD, as well as substance use disorders (SUD). First responder wellness can also have implications for patients, crews, families, and the community at large. Therefore, it is a social problem. This presenter will explore the realities of trauma exposure among first responders, the challenges of accepting treatment, and the concurrent treatment of co-occurring trauma, mental health, and SUDs. This presenter will share research that was inspired by her work with the Palm Beach County Firefighters Union, where she witnessed firsthand the impact of on the job trauma exposure on firefighters and gained a unique perspective of the first responder culture. She will describe protocols that are used to mitigate the negative outcomes of trauma and that emphasize protocols that promote growth from trauma and the development of greater resilience in first responders.


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