INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (WTHI) - A new program to help first responders across the state of Indiana is launching this week. Recovery Centers of America's (RCA) new RESCU program is the only addiction treatment program designed specifically for first responders in the state. We spoke with one local first responder who says there is a great need for a program like this.
Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse oversees dozens of deputies on a daily basis. He's worked in law enforcement for 35 years and knows how hard it can be to be a first responder at times.
"Some of the things we deal with in law enforcement is not pretty," Sheriff Plasse said. "Officers are in those scenes that are horrific sometimes and it takes a toll on you."
He also knows that a lot of times it can be hard to reach out for help.
"I know sometimes in law enforcement, or first responders think it shows weakness to admit you need help," he said. "I think the opposite. I think it shows weakness when you refuse to get help when you need it."
That's why he is glad programs like this exists.
"We are humans just like everyone else," he said. "We face issues like everyone else does. It is nice to have someone in Indiana supporting us in this way."
Recovery Centers of America new RESCU, "Recovering Emergency Service Community United'' program is a new substance abuse treatment program.
"The RESCU program is something very special, very special to Indiana," Stephanie Anderson, the CEO of Recovery Centers of America in Indianapolis, said. "It is a program aimed at serving those who serve."
Current active or former first responders, military veterans, and all of those serving our communities can seek the treatment they need. Many times, they would have to go out of state for similar treatment. But through this program, they're able to receive both inpatient and outpatient services.
"They are the strength within our community that we have grown to rely on," Anderson said. "Those first responders are so used to being that rock that they are not often able to ask for help themselves. There is also a lot of fear in being that rock and admitting that you need help yourself. All of those individuals really need a safe place to heal and recover, and to not have one in Indiana, yet was a real opportunity for us to give back to the community and make it a better place."
It's just another resource that leaders like Plasse say is so vital. He hopes his deputies or any first responder will reach out for help if they need it.
"The first step is to ask," he said." "To say you need help from someone is not a bad thing. People need help all of the time."
As of Monday, the program is now officially up and running! If you are a first responder looking for a confidential substance abuse treatment program, RCA staff members are encouraging you to reach out. They are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Their phone number is (463)-999-9045. Click here for their website.