Alcohol Rehab for Law Enforcement

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alcohol rehab for law enforcement

Law enforcement personnel, including police officers, sheriffs, corrections officers, and deputies, perform their job duties under extreme stress. This can lead to alcohol abuse as a means of coping with the effects of exposure to stressful and disturbing situations. When alcohol abuse develops into alcohol use disorder, an alcohol rehab program designed for first responders provides the needed treatment.

Alcohol Use Disorder and Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers and emergency responders are listed among the top ten professions associated with substance abuse. These professionals work under incredibly demanding and stressful conditions day in and day out, which can adversely impact mental health.

When a police officer develops a drinking problem, he or she may go to great lengths to ignore it. This hesitancy to seek out support is rooted in the stigma around addiction and mental health that continues to persist. Many first responders do not seek treatment because they fear being seen as weak or unfit for the job.

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

When a peace officer suspects they have developed an alcohol use disorder, a doctor or clinician will arrange for an assessment. The clinical staff at Capo by the Sea will evaluate the police officer based on factors outlined in the DSM-5. 

Depending on the number of factors present, the clinician will stage the alcohol use disorder as mild, moderate or severe. The diagnostic criteria include:

In the past year have you:

  1. Have you consumed more alcohol and for a longer time than you intended? 
  2. Have you tried more than once to cut down or stop drinking, but couldn’t?
  3. Spent a lot of time obtaining and using alcohol, and recovering from the effects of drinking?
  4. Experienced strong cravings to drink alcohol?
  5. Found that your drinking has interfered with fulfilling your responsibilities?
  6. Continued to drink even despite the problems it was causing with family or friends?
  7. Given up or cut back on activities that you once enjoyed in order to drink?
  8. More than once gotten into unsafe situations while or after drinking? 
  9. Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or added to another health problem?
  10. Found you need to drink much more than you once did to get the effects you want?
  11. Found that you had withdrawal symptoms – trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating – when the alcohol wore off?

Signs of Mental Stress in First Responders

Law enforcement officers face intense stress on a daily basis. For this reason, it is important to recognize how stress and traumatic events are impacting their mental and physical health. 

Due to high stress levels, police and corrections officers are at an increased risk of using alcohol to self-medicate the stress and trauma. This puts them at risk of a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism.

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Signs of distress include:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly.
  • Engaging in problematic or risky behaviors.
  • Experiencing physical effects of stress. These include rapid heart rate, nausea, sleep problems, headaches, stomach distress, and being unable to relax off duty.
  • Having strong negative feelings.

Capo by the Sea Medical Detox for Alcoholism

A police officer, sheriff, first responder, or deputy soon becomes aware of the adverse effects caused by excessive alcohol consumption. This is a pivotal moment, as it depicts the beginning of the recovery process.

Recovery is launched by the completion of alcohol detox and withdrawal. This first important step takes place in a medical detox program where the withdrawal symptoms can be closely observed. Alcohol withdrawal can present some serious and unpredictable health risks, therefore should be monitored by a medical team.

Capo by the Sea medical detox takes about 5-10 days with peak symptoms occurring on days 2-3. The duration depends on the severity of the alcohol use disorder. 

Symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Hand tremors.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation
  • Irritability
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Profound fatigue.
  • Mood swings.
  • Mild seizures.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Delirium tremens (DTs), a rare but serious condition.

What to Expect in Alcohol Rehab 

Capo by the Sea alcohol rehab program provides officers with the next critical steps on the recovery continuum. We offer a blend of evidence-based, holistic, and experiential therapies to assist law enforcement officers in overcoming alcoholism.

Addiction treatment includes:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Psychosocial education
  • 12-step program
  • Nutrition and fitness counseling
  • Holistic and experiential activities
  • Golf therapy

Capo by the Sea offers a luxury residential setting for police and first responders to address an alcohol use disorder. Reach out today at (888) 529-2114