Understanding Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Its Impact on Fire Service Personnel
In everyday life, people turn to alcohol and drugs for pleasure and sometimes to cope. In the fire service, the line between pleasure and pain relief can seem clear but become blurred. It is important we seek healthy means to address the cumulative stress, traumas, and exposures we encounter and manage every day throughout our career. When use turns to abuse and possibly a diagnosable disorder in our profession, we are affecting not only ourselves, our families, and our livelihoods but also our coworkers and the citizens we serve. Learn the general consequences of a substance use disorder (SUD); why we may be susceptible to increased use; barriers to change; the impact it has on the individual, family, and fire service community; and what we can do to address it.