Tag Archive for: Police Officers

Dr. Cali Estes featured on Medic2Medic Podcast to discuss her unique First Responder training program


Dr. Cali Estes featured on Medic2Medic Podcast to discuss her unique First Responder training program

First Responder

Did you know that 25% of police officers have an addiction and 37% of emergency medical personnel suffers from PTSD? Join us in helping them combat these issues within themselves, their coworkers and helping them work with the public in a more informed and educated manner.

Listen to Dr. Cali Estes featured on this podcast Medic 2 Medic, regarding her work with first responders. The Addictions Academy and Dr. Cali Estes were awarded the largest federal grant to train first responders in the state of Alaska and they have trained all the police departments in New Jersey and they have trained first responders in Florida. Please listen to the podcast below and contact us if you would like to have us train your organization in any of the topics like mental health and substance use disorder which have increased 30 to 40%.


The Addictions Academy is pleased to offer a first responder training to all police officers, EMTs, EMS, firefighters, and police departments. Dr. Cali Estes is the creator of the first and only five hour training that targets substance use disorder and mental health in first responders amongst themselves, how they deal with the public, and how they deal with coworkers that might have a mental health or drug and alcohol addiction.

You can find more on the training by clicking  HERE

How did a firefighter get a homicide rap after drinking one night? Well….did you know?

How did a firefighter get a homicide rap after drinking one night? Well….did you know?

The Relationship Between Addiction and Emergency Responders

emergencyEmergency responders are first on the scene of some of the most dangerous and demanding situations, providing immediate care, support, and medical assistance to survivors in the aftermath of a crime or disaster. These heroic duties are essential to society; however, they can be very strenuous and emotionally draining to those in the profession. The constant exposure to devastation, life-threatening situations, and physical strain of working long hours under stressful conditions can negatively impact overall mental health. Consequently, there is a tragically close relationship between addiction and emergency responders.

The term “emergency responders” includes police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services such as paramedics and EMTs. These industry professionals are exposed to situations that many people would not be able to emotionally bear, increasing the risk of the development of mental health disorders. In fact, it is estimated that 30% of first responders develop behavioral health conditions during their time of service, including: depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite the importance of mental health in the profession, there is an undeniable cultural stigma concerning mental healthcare treatment. Fear of being seen as weak or not up to the job of a first responder keeps many from seeking help and can lead suffering individuals to turn to substance abuse as a means of relief.

Firefighters spend their days braving burning and collapsing buildings to save civilian lives. Firefighters are subject to many of the same traumatic psychological risks as police officers but are at the additional physical risk of severe burns, smoke inhalation, lung damage, and other on-the-job injuries. The long 24-hour shifts and traumatic calls lead countless firefighters to develop mental health conditions such as post-traumatic-stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and depression. Many individuals struggling with these issues then turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of symptom relief. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that up to 29% of firefighters engage in alcohol abuse and as many as 10% of firefighters may be currently abusing prescription drugs.

Rates of binge drinking and heavy alcohol consumption are higher among firefighters than the general population. Similar to police officers, there are multiple social factors contributing to the high rates of hazardous alcohol consumption among firefighters, including acts of camaraderie, peer support, and “fire-station culture.” A number of firefighters additionally report using alcohol as a means of managing the stress of emergency calls and for “winding down.” Aside from seeking support from friends and family, alcohol use was reported as the second leading coping strategy of firefighters in a 2017 survey.

Thankfully, The Addictions Academy has a class to help stop addiction in first responders.

Click the link below for more info:



NBC News Reports: The Addictions Academy Slated as First Responder Addiction Education Trainer for Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The Addictions Academy Slated as First Responder Addiction Education Trainer for Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Dr. Cali Estes Founder of The Addictions Academy confirmed they have been chosen to deliver their First Responder Addictions and Mental Health Education training to Alaska’s First Responder organizations by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to help combat the opioid crisis. The training is an activity outlined in Alaska’s National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

First Responder

The Addictions Academy Addictions Training for First Responders is key to assisting the general population. This is a hands-on training designed especially for the Police Officer, EMT, Firefighter, or crisis worker. This detailed training covers how opiates and opioids became prevalent in the USA and how to address and combat the problem. The training uses a three-pronged approach; first, educating the First Responder on how to deal with mental health and addiction in their communities and with the general public, then how to recognize addiction and mental health issues in coworkers and teams and lastly, how to recognize mental health and addiction issues within yourself. The comprehensive course also trains professionals on Medically Assisted Therapies (MAT), HIV, and more.

This is the first-ever training that targets and explains addiction and how to assist in the solution of solving the epidemic that is currently rampant. In a crisis environment, it is difficult for the addicted individual to see the negative patterns of their behavior and how they not only affect their family but also their community. Addicted individuals become non-productive members of society and sometimes very destructive when it comes to crime, (burglary, drug sales, trafficking, etc) and the goal of any community is to triage and redirect and rehabilitate the person to not only help themselves and their families but the community as a whole.

“If you have ever wanted to know more about mental health and addictions to drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, oxycodone, and Fentanyl, this is the class for you,” Dr. Estes said.

She continued, “We are honored to help Alaska and their First Responders to gain a better understanding of addictions and give them some tools to effectively address the challenges it poses in their communities.”

The Addictions Academy First Responder Addiction Education training takes an in-depth look at opiates and how professionals can successfully assist their clients and patients in getting sober and handling the fallout from use. The course covers what mental health disorders are (DSM 5), and how to deal with the chronically addicted and mentally ill that are encountered so often in first responder work. The training also covers what street drugs are currently available and which ones are life-threatening and what countermeasures are available for overdose and awareness.

This special edition of addiction and mental health training is designed specifically for police officers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters and other crisis workers. This interactive course consists of 21 topics including: what addiction is and what it is not, identifying currently available street drugs, which drugs are life-threatening, assessing community supports, countermeasures that are available for overdose and awareness, post-acute withdrawal techniques, defense mechanisms, relapse prevention, and family dynamics.

In a crisis environment, it is difficult for an addicted individual to see the negative patterns of their behavior, how the addiction affects their lives and the lives of family members and their community. The goal of any community is to triage, redirect and rehabilitate the person to not only help themselves and their families but the community as a whole.

“This is a prime opportunity for first responder organizations to offer this specialized, no-cost, online training to their workers,” said DOLWD Commissioner Dr. Tamika L. Ledbetter. “Awareness and education are our best strategies to combat the statewide opioid crisis.”

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