First Responders & Medication… A Very Complicated Matter

By Sean Riley

Here’s something I see way too often when the public safety profession contacts the Safe Call Now 24 hour national hotline.  First responders being over prescribed medication or prescribed medication that may not be necessary for what they’re currently presenting medically.  Let me give you an example; In general when a first responder is exposed to a traumatic event it is common that they may feel depressed, anxious and unable to sleep.  They’re searching for answers to these problems and they pay a visit to their family physician.

Too often the first responders report to me that they are prescribed anti-depressants, sleep aids and benzodiazepines (something like Xanax) to deal with these issues.  I always say that when you are prescribed with this combination of prescription medications for an extended period of time (I refer to them as the “magic” three), at some point we at Safe Call Now will be dealing with you.  I see it happen every day.

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