The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery
Through a partnership between the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and Advanced Recovery Systems, a nationwide leader in rehabilitation and behavioral health, the IAFF Center of Excellence is a flagship recovery center where IAFF members can heal from behavioral health conditions.
The first of its kind, the IAFF Center of Excellence offers treatment exclusively for fire fighters, dispatchers and first responders. We offer treatment for mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief, along with rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.
Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the IAFF Center for Excellence is approximately 30 minutes from Washington, DC, and an hour from Dulles International Airport. Designed with fire fighters in mind, our 15-acre campus is ideal for focusing on treatment and recovery. Our dual-diagnosis rehab programs balance medical support with mental health counseling, while our recreational therapies facilitate whole-person healing.
Levels of Care
Important Notice Regarding COVID-19:
We are closely monitoring all developments associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of all patients, employees and the communities we serve. This means some off-site activities or other programming have been postponed or moved to telehealth offerings. Your cooperation during this time is greatly appreciated.
Clinically Managed Detox
Similar in name to medical detox, clinically managed detox helps clients cleanse their bodies of drugs, alcohol and other harmful…Learn More
Once clients complete detox (at our facility or elsewhere), they can enroll in residential treatment where they’ll live on-site at…Learn More
Partial Hospitalization Programming
During partial hospitalization programming, IAFF members live off-site and benefit from continued medical support and comprehensive mental health counseling. Access…Learn More
Intensive Outpatient Programming
Clients live off-site during intensive outpatient treatment and continue to build on the skills learned in higher levels of care.…Learn More
The IAFF Center of Excellence offers outpatient care for clients who struggle only substance abuse, mental health concerns, or both.…Learn More
Before discharge, case managers help each IAFF member make a solid aftercare plan, complete with follow-up programming in their hometown.Learn More
Now Offering Online Counseling Services
Getting treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues with online rehab and counseling just got easier. The IAFF Center of Excellence now offers teletherapy treatment for fire fighters and first responders who are struggling from substance abuse and mental health issues.
At Advanced Recovery Systems, patient safety is our top priority. We remain open and committed to providing critical addiction treatment. We are closely monitoring all developments associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of all patients, employees and the communities we serve.
To ensure you have full access to our rehab and therapy services, know that our staff is experienced and trained in telehealth and online counseling services for mental health, addiction, and overall drug and alcohol rehab support.
We’re still here for you during the coronavirus pandemic, because we’re in this together.
Our full-time medical and clinical staff at the IAFF Center of Excellence empower people to get back to the careers they love with renewed health and vitality.
We are always looking for dedicated clinical staff to join our Center of Excellence team.
The IAFF Center of Excellence is accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by the state of Maryland for both substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment.
Tour Our Facility
Tour the IAFF Center of Excellence virtually to view or facility and amenities.
“I, myself, am in recovery, so I identify with these fire fighters. I’ve been on their side, but I have never been to an inpatient facility that serves the food that I do. I think that is special and deserving of this group.”
Depending on the level of care, indoor and outdoor amenities at the IAFF Center of Excellence may include:
- Swimming pool
- Recreation room with foosball and pool tables
- Fully equipped exercise gym
- Basketball court
- Volleyball court
- Wood-lined walking trails
- Yoga and mindfulness therapy
- Designated smoking areas
- Computer lab
- Off-site activities
What to Expect
It’s our goal to provide each IAFF member with a safe environment, free from familiar triggers, distractions and stress. Knowing what to expect during rehab can help inform clients about what to bring along and prepare them for a positive treatment experience.
We recommend that all clients bring:
- Insurance and pharmacy card and a state ID or driver’s license
- One week’s worth of season-appropriate clothing, including workout clothing and a jacket or sweater for indoors
- Prepaid credit card or cash, which will be retained by staff when not in use
- Sealed (unopened) alcohol-free toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, face wash, lotion and feminine products
- Any tobacco product you wish to use during the length of your stay if you’re under the age of 21
The following items aren’t permitted at the IAFF Center of Excellence:
- Drugs or alcohol, drug paraphernalia and clothing depicting drugs
- Products that contain alcohol, including hand sanitizer, mouthwash and other toiletries
- Vaporizers (vaping devices, vapes)
- Weapons (including pocket knives)
What Does the Treatment Process Look Like?
The IAFF Center of Excellence is licensed to offer evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions, whether or not the issues co-occur. Specialists at the center formulate treatment plans to address one or both conditions for each client, depending on their needs.
Rehab at the IAFF Center of Excellence is tailored to each IAFF member’s unique needs. However, regardless of a client’s specific treatment plan, rehab usually follows an outlined process, beginning with an evaluation and ending with aftercare planning.
- Intake Evaluation
Upon arrival at our facility, IAFF members participate in a comprehensive screening process that includes mandatory searches and a medical exam. We evaluate past and current drug use, along with mental and physical health to create a treatment plan for each client.
- Clinically Managed Detox, If Applicable
If an IAFF member needs treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, they will likely first go through clinically managed detox to cleanse their body of drugs or alcohol. This essential level of care prepares people to transition to further rehab programming, like inpatient treatment.
- Substance Abuse Treatment
After participating in detox, clients who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse can enroll in further programming for substance abuse, including inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient care. In addition to medical support, mental health counseling is included in each level of care. Once it’s deemed medically appropriate, clients can also transition to outpatient programming in preparation for returning to daily life after rehab.
- Mental Health Treatment
For clients who do not need substance abuse treatment, we offer a variety of programs (inpatient through outpatient) to address behavioral health concerns like PTSD, depression, anxiety, grief and other conditions.
- Aftercare Planning
All clients leave rehab with a solid aftercare plan that outlines necessary follow-up appointments with doctors and therapists. Our case managers work with each client to set up aftercare plans with recommendations specific to a client’s hometown.
What Our Clients Say
Angela and Jeff both struggled with substance use and the pressures that come along with their jobs as firefighters. With the help of the IAFF Center of Excellence, both Angela and Jeff are on their path to life long recovery. You are not alone in your recovery journey with mental health, substance abuse, and PTSD. The IAFF Center Of Excellence is here to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you may have questions about rehab. We’re always willing to answer frequently asked questions about rehab, including:
- Is rehab confidential?
Yes, rehab at the IAFF Center of Excellence is always confidential, and your presence here will only be disclosed to the people you choose. Your union leaders, fellow fire fighters, friends and family members will not be informed of your treatment without your consent.
- Is cell phone use allowed during treatment?
Cell phones will be securely stored upon arrival and returned at discharge. Following an initial adjustment period upon arrival, clients may use our facility’s phones three times a week.
- Will the IAFF Center of Excellence pay for traveling to rehab?
No, our facility does not pay for transportation to or from the center, but representatives can help clients coordinate travel arrangements, if necessary.
- How long does rehab last at the IAFF Center of Excellence?
Treatment program lengths at the IAFF Center of Excellence vary depending on each client’s needs. We understand that many fire fighters and first responders may be concerned about time spent away from their jobs, but typically, the longer a person stays in treatment, the better equipped they are to handle life after rehab.