Sprout Health Group – Frontline Responder Services

As a former detective sergeant and mental health professional, I possess a clear understanding of the challenges faced by first responders. My experience as a police officer, clinician, and outreach professional, have given me important insight into the obstacles that often hinder a first responder from getting the help they need. I also possess a unique understanding of substance abuse among first responders, having overcome addiction in my life. My passion for helping first responders has led me to my role as director of First Responder Services for Sprout Health Group.   

At Sprout Health Group, we have developed Frontline Responder Services, an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment program for active, retired, and former first responders. Our first responders often struggle with issues such as stress, trauma, and substance abuse. These problems are often ignored until something serious takes place. First Responders spend their careers helping others, but often ignore their own physical, emotional, and mental health. Unfortunately, many first responder agencies do not know how to access or are unaware of, the resources available to address such issues when they arise. Frontline Responder Services is such a resource, providing evidenced-based, peer-support driven treatment to First Responders.

We have also established the Frontline Peer Support Hotline (866-854-7400), available 24 hours, 7 days a week. All calls to the hotline will be answered by another first responder.

Our philosophy is to treat both the addiction and the underlying issues, such as stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression. In addition to our comprehensive treatment programming, our first responders receive services and interventions designed specifically for them. Each of our first responder clients is evaluated for post-traumatic stress symptoms and will work with our trauma specialists when appropriate. Through our peer-facilitated group meetings, Frontline Responder Services creates a safe and supportive environment for recovery, allowing our clients to address the issues they cannot, or will not, discuss in other settings. These issues include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), crime scene trauma, childhood trauma, family matters and work-related distress. Participants learn from one another’s experiences and benefit from the unique understanding that exists between emergency responders. Also, our first responder clients also attend a weekly “Bottles and Badges” meetings, a 12 step meeting for first responders. This meeting is in addition to the client’s daily attendance of traditional 12 step meetings.

At Sprout Health Group, we recognize the importance of our clients continuing on a positive path upon completion of treatment. Each first responder leaves treatment with a comprehensive individual after-care plan, developed with input from both the client and the referring agency. Our primary goal is to help our clients develop healthy coping skills and return to their families and jobs, no longer reliant or dependent on alcohol or other substances.

With treatment centers strategically located in Eatontown, New Jersey (Advanced Health & Education) and in Sacramento, California (Cedar Point Recovery) we can serve as a national resource for all first responders. Frontline Responder Services is one of the many treatment options available through Sprout Health Group. We provide substance abuse treatment for adults from all walks of life, including the loved ones of our first responders.

Additionally, we provide a variety of no cost training programs that can benefit the members of your department.

– John C. Becker Jr., MHS-C, CTR, Director, First Responder Services, Sprout Health Group, 215-833-1572, [email protected]

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