I Am Not Disposable

By Tom McConaghy

May of 2013 did not end the way I had planned.  During the commission of a felony, I left several empty pill bottles on the front seat of my patrol car that I shared with another officer.  How did I get here?  Why had I become an addict when my entire being was dedicated to protecting my community?

There was never one single moment or event that lead me down this path.  An endless string of incidents had pounded away at my psyche for well over a decade.  One after another with no time to recover.  The police officer life I chose was hard.  I accepted tough assignments.  Took on additional responsibilities and let the job be my entire life.  At one point I was a drug investigator, meth lab technician, SWAT sniper, Drug Court liaison, and volunteered at the local child advocacy center at the same time.  24/7 on call and the rapid-fire calls and tragedies took their toll.

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The Drug Addicted Cop…

By Sean Riley – President & Founder Safe Call Now

A dear friend of mine always says and he’s right, “We treat our cars better than we treat our first responders in addiction who are going to die”.   When the red lights coms on in our vehicles we immediately take the vehicle into the mechanic and have it assessed, evaluated and fixed. When we’re dealing with the alcoholic or addicted first responder, the red lights come on and as a profession we will become enablers to protect our partners (blind loyalty), try to fix the problems ourselves (which only a professional can do) or cast them aside and throw them away as if it is someone else’s problem (the easy way out).

The diseases of addiction and mental health when combined are two of the deadliest diseases known to mankind, yet they are the only two diseases that we allow the first responder who’s brain is incapable of making logical decisions to dictate the terms of treatment. Maybe for fear of not offending them, ending their career, who knows there are many other reasons usually associated with “The Thin Blue, Red, Green Lines”. Ultimately I have determined that the main cause is that “It’s always been done this way in the past”.

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Are Emergency Rooms Failing our First Responders in Addiction?

By Sean Riley – Safe Call Now President & Founder

Tough subject as those personnel in the ER’s and we consider as first responders work hand in hand with those who serve and are saving lives everyday doing amazing work.  Sometimes the tough questions just need to be asked.

Let me tell you about a recent interaction I had with multiple doctors while trying to place a first responder into treatment. Doctors (most like any profession) do amazing work, have incredible knowledge but when it comes to their overall education and training on addiction, it kind of sucks. This first responder finally wanted help and turned to the system. This person was in acute intoxication and sought help through the medical system. I personally drove the first responder to the emergency room upon his request as the alcoholism was at such a level it was in my estimation impacting their health and wellness. This first responder is also a long time drinker, with multiple relapses and was drinking a minimum of a 5th of vodka a day.

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