Substance abuse treatment program for first responders launches in Indianapolis

Recovery Centers of America officials say the program is the first of its kind in Indiana

By Laura French

INDIANAPOLIS — A substance abuse treatment program specifically designed for first responders launched at a recovery center in Indianapolis this week. 

The Recovering Emergency Service Community United (RESCU) program at the Recovery Centers of America (RCA) Indianapolis was announced Monday and already has two patients enrolled, according to FOX 59. RCA officials said the program is the first substance abuse recovery program in Indiana that is specifically tailored for first responders. 

The RESCU program offers a variety of services including psychiatric services, medication-based detoxification and individual and family counseling, according to RCA. 

RCA CEO Stephanie Anderson said anonymity is key to the program, with first responder patients isolated to the third floor of the building where other patients are restricted from interacting with them.

"You don't want to sit in treatment next to somebody you've arrested or somebody you've resuscitated," Anderson told FOX 59. 

Currently, the third floor has 12 beds for first responders but Anderson said the center may expand to more than 50 openings in the future depending on the demand. So far, two first responders have started the detoxification process at the center, Anderson said. 

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Tom Black, a founding member of the department's Police Officer Support Team who has more than 30 years of experience counseling fellow officers, serves as one of the head therapists for the program. Black said a designated recovery program for first responders is long overdue in the state. 


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