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

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.

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. 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. 

Meet Our Mentors

Get the Support You Need

‍It’s important to note that while support groups can be highly beneficial, they should not replace professional treatment or counseling. They work best as a complementary component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include therapy, neuromodulation therapy, medication, and other evidence-based interventions. 

Overall, support groups can be effective in the recovery process of first responders with substance abuse problems by providing understanding, acceptance, practical strategies, and ongoing support. They play a vital role in helping individuals rebuild their lives and maintain sobriety while navigating the unique challenges they face in their roles as first responders. If you would like more information on how you can join our group please click below and one of our support staff will reach out to you. All information will be kept confidential.

Level I and II Education and Group Therapy Provider

Badge Responder Services is also a state certified DUI Level II Education and Therapy provider. Level II education consists of 24 hours of DUI education over a 12 week period. 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 the therapy group we will cover topics in the Driving with Care DUI Therapy book. In addition to DUI Education and Therapy we offer Substance Monitoring Services. Please reach out to us at admin@thebadgegroup.com for more information on how to set this up.  

How to Join Our Support Groups

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 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.

Our Services

Contact Us