Coping with Emotional and Physical Stress
Police officers often find themselves in the midst of stressful situations. They never know when a routine traffic stop can turn deadly, or when a couple in a domestic dispute can become violent with the law enforcement officer as they defend each other. The physical stress of law enforcement can cause injuries or illnesses. The emotional stress can lead to mental health issues.
Law enforcement personnel also deal with erratic schedules, lack of sleep, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on a regular basis. In fact, stress, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD are common experiences for many Federal, State, and local law enforcement employees as they cope with job and life stressors.
Depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD can often co-occur with substance use issues. When the police officer attempts to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, it only makes the situation worse and often leads to addiction. Treatment for law enforcement officers focuses on the emotional and physical toll the job can take on them and addresses the mental and substance use issues together.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
Evidence-based therapies are designed to address the underlying causes of addiction and mental health issues. The first step for the law enforcement professional is to recognize the warning signs, which can include:
- Experiencing a rapid heart rate, palpitations, muscle tensions, headaches, and tremors
- Feeling fear or terror in life-threatening situations or perceived danger, as well as anger and frustration
- Being disoriented or confused, having difficulty solving problems, and making decisions
- Engaging in problematic or risky behaviors, such as taking unnecessary risks, failing to use personal protective equipment, or refusing to follow orders or leave the scene
- Becoming irritable or hostile in social situations, resorting to blaming, and failing to support teammates
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or using drugs, including prescription medications.
Specialized Treatment for Law Enforcement Professionals
Law enforcement is a stressful job. Learning ways to cope with that stress in a positive way and to overcome the challenges of addiction are critical to the treatment for law enforcement professionals. At BRC Recovery, we focus on a holistic healing approach that leads to a healthier mind, body, and spirit. Evidence-based, innovative therapies designed specifically for the challenges faced by law enforcement help our clients work through their trauma-based issues and move forward through a successful recovery from addiction. To learn more about treatment for law enforcement, please contact BRC Recovery and call 1-866-291-2676 today.