For anyone experiencing a Mental Health crisis, please call 988 (crisis line) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Substance Abuse Therapy Groups

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups are a psycho-educational and therapeutic resource. These meetings are supported by a peer mentor program and are reserved for Police, Fire, EMS, Corrections, Dispatch, and all other emergency responder-related positions, both current and former who are dealing with substance abuse issues. We are currently only able to serve Colorado residents at this time.  All group sessions are confidential and run by “badges helping badges.” We bring you support, experience, and hope. If you are interested in a resource that is similar to AA, please ask us about the Red, White, and Blue Crew meetings.

Peer Mentor Program

One unique feature of our therapeutic substance use groups is our peer mentor program. Within our program we have an amazing set of peer mentors who are active or retired first responders. When you join Group you will be assigned a peer mentor to help support you through your recovery process. Having a peer mentor program within a substance use recovery support group can offer several significant benefits including shared experience and understanding. Our first responder peer mentors have often gone through similar experiences with substance use and recovery our mentees. This shared understanding can create a strong bond and trust between the mentor and mentees. Ou mentors who have successfully navigated recovery can serve as role models for those who are newer to the process. Seeing someone who has overcome similar challenges can provide hope and motivation for the members. The mentors can also provide emotional support and empathy to mentees who may be struggling with cravings, setbacks, or other challenges in their recovery journey. Having someone who understands and is there to listen can be incredibly valuable. In addition our mentors can help hold mentees accountable for their actions and commitments related to their recovery. This accountability can help motivate mentees to stay on track and make positive choices.They will share practical tips, strategies, and resources based on their own experiences to help you navigate the challenges of recovery more effectively.

Research has shown that peer mentor programs in substance use recovery settings can lead to increased engagement in treatment programs and higher rates of retention. Mentees may be more likely to stay involved and committed to their recovery with the support of a peer mentor. Substance use recovery can be a lonely and isolating journey for many individuals. Having a peer mentor can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of connection and community within the support group. Overall, our peer mentor program provides valuable support, encouragement, guidance, and connection to help individuals navigate the challenges of recovery and move towards a healthier, more fulfilling life. Click below to meet our amazing mentors. 

Meet Our Mentors

How to Join Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Group

If you are interested in joining our Support Group, please reach out to admin@thebadgegroup.com. We will need to know your first responder affiliation, which agency you’re with, a phone number, and the best time to contact you. This information will be kept confidential. Once we verify that you are a first responder, we will send you a few forms to complete on our secure, HIPAA compliant online platform. After your forms are submitted, we will have a clinician reach out to you to do a telehealth appointment to review your documents and to ask a few important questions. After the intake is complete, we will send you an email with additional information on how to join the online group as well as our meeting times. You will also receive the weekly topic and any materials to review before joining the group.

Level I and II DUI Education and Therapy

Badge Responder Services offers Level I and II DUI Education and Therapy services. Level II Education consists of 24 hours of training over a 12 week period, in a convenient online group setting, no larger than 12 people. DUI Level II Therapy follows the education portion of the program and is done in a group setting online via Zoom.  We use the required Driving with Care books, which you can purchase through us at the beginning of the program. For our DUI Group Therapy, we offer three opportunities to join a group each week, with the exception of some holidays. In addition to DUI Education and Therapy we offer Substance Monitoring Services. Please reach out to admin@thebadgegroup.com for more information on the programs.  

Addiction is a complex and chronic condition characterized by the compulsive use of substances or engagement in behaviors despite negative consequences. It is considered a brain disorder that involves changes in the brain’s reward, motivation, and decision making systems. Substance abuse problems refer specifically to addiction related to the misuse of drugs or alcohol. 

First responders, like anyone else, can be susceptible to substance abuse problems due to various factors such as high-stress environments, exposure to trauma, and the use of substances as coping mechanisms. Stress is a major factor in substance abuse and a study out of the University of Arizona found that while police officers just entering the force report having 0% rate of substance abuse, it climbs to 27% after being on the job for only two years and then escalating 36% of officers who suffer from alcohol dependence or abuse after only four years on the force. In addition, 25% of police officers noted that they drank in order to feel like, “part of the team,” and another 25% reported that they were negatively affected by a co-worker’s drinking. The unique nature of their work, which often involves witnessing traumatic events and high-pressure situations, can put them at increased risk for developing substance abuse issues.

The Firefighters Association reported that 10% of all firefighters abuse drugs and 29% abuse alcohol. This is compared to the average rate of alcohol addition by the general population of 6.6%. 

EMT’s are faced with many traumatic events throughout their daily shift. And nearly 20% of EMT’s report having PTSI. This may directly correlate to the high rates of substance abuse among these first responders. It has been reported that 40% of EMT’s engage in high risk drug and alcohol use. First responders who witness traumatic events together often drink together as well. Alcohol is a depressant that targets the central nervous system allowing symptoms of PTSI or anxiety to feel dull, thereby relieving some of the stress. The effects of this are short term however and dependency is often created once chasing that initial feeling of relief isn’t achieved. Drinking is considered more socially acceptable and easy to obtain making it a desirable but dangerous option for stress relief.  

Our support group focuses on an 8 area model for wellness that focuses on creating a balanced approach to healing and living. While it is optimal to be balanced within each area, we understand that certain areas will need more attention at different times in our lives. You will find a theme and subsequent handouts that support gaining understanding and growth in these areas each week.

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups can play a crucial role in the recovery process of first responders with substance abuse problems. Here's how they can be effective:

Shared Understanding and Empathy

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups consist of individuals who have experienced similar challenges and struggles with addiction. This shared understanding fosters empathy and allows first responders to feel heard, validated, and understood by their peers who have gone through similar experiences. This can reduce feelings of isolation and help build a sense of connection and support. 

Non-Judgemental Environment

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups provide a safe and non-judgemental space where first responders can openly discuss their experiences, challenges, and progress in recovery. The absence of judgment allows individuals to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of stigma or negative consequences, facilitating a sense of acceptance and trust.

Practical Advice and Coping Strategies

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups often involve sharing practical advice, strategies, and coping mechanisms for managing cravings, stress, and other triggers associated with addiction. First responders can learn from the experiences of others and gain insights into effective strategies that have worked for their peers in similar situations. 

Accountability and Motivation

Our Clinical Substance Abuse Therapy Groups provide a sense of accountability as members support and encourage each other to stay committed to their recovery goals. The shared commitment to sobriety and personal growth creates a supportive environment that can foster motivation and help individuals stay on track in their recovery journey. 

Long-Term Support

Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process and peer support groups can provide long-term support to first responders. Regular meetings and ongoing connections with peers can help individuals maintain their sobriety, navigate challenges, and build a strong support network outside of the group. 

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