The FORTITUDE program supports first responders with evidence-based, trauma-informed care that addresses their unique experiences and struggles.

Advanced Recovery Systems proudly introduces FORTITUDE, a specialty track at The Recovery Village Columbus for first responders. Added to any personalized substance abuse treatment plan, the FORTITUDE program supports first responders with evidence-based, trauma-informed care that addresses their unique experiences and struggles.

A Specialty Track for First Responders

Due to the nature of their work, first responders are at a higher risk than civilians of struggling with behavioral health issues like PTSD, anxiety, depression and substance abuse:

  • 20% of firefighters and 21% of paramedics meet criteria for PTSD during their career, compared to only up to 5%of the general population.
  • The rate of suicide among police officers is four times the rate for firefighters, which is already higher than the general population.
  • More than 1 in 3 military service personnel meet criteria for hazardous drinking or possible alcohol use disorder.
  • The overall opioid overdose rates of veterans increased from 14% in 2010 to 21% in 2016.

Traditional rehab options can fall short for first responders, who are often afraid of traumatizing others in group therapy or struggle to relate with their therapists. Having identified a significant need for culturally competent treatment providers for first responders, we developed the FORTITUDE program to provide high-quality programming among their peers and trained clinical professionals.

The FORTITUDE track treats fire service members, paramedics, law enforcement, and emergency room personnel with:

Our Commitment to Helping First Responders Resolve Trauma

Advanced Recovery Systems has unparalleled experience treating over 1,800 first responders using evidence-based, trauma-informed care. The FORTITUDE program reaffirms our commitment to supporting the behavioral health of men and women who make their careers out of saving lives and protecting communities.

For more information about the FORTITUDE program and how to enroll a first responder in need, call 844-754-0129 or visit


Corneil, W. et al. “Exposure to traumatic incidents and prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptomatology in urban firefighters in two countries.” Journal of Occupational Haealth Psychology, April 1999. Accessed July 15, 2021.

Mildenhall, Jo. “Protecting the mental health of UK paramedics.” Journal of Paramedic Practice, January 12, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2021.

Violanti, John M. “Police suicide: A national comparison with fire-fighter and military personnel.” Policing An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, June 2010. Accessed July 15, 2021.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Substance Use and Military Life DrugFacts.” October 23, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2021.

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Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.