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FORTITUDE for Veterans and First Responders

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


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

A Specialty Track for Veterans and First Responders


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

The rate of PTSD in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is approximately 30% in any given year.
About 46% of veterans with PTSD also met the criteria for substance use disorder (SUD).
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.
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.

Traditional rehab options can fall short for this population; they 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 veterans and first responders, we developed the FORTITUDE program to provide high-quality programming among their peers and trained clinical professionals.

The FORTITUDE program welcomes veterans and anyone working in public safety (active or retired) who struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. We provide:

Our Commitment to Helping Veterans and First Responders Resolve Trauma

Advanced Recovery Systems has unparalleled experience treating over 3,000 first responders and veterans using evidence-based, trauma-informed care. The FORTITUDE program reaffirms our commitment to supporting the behavioral health of men and women who defend our country and protect their community.

Facilities Offering FORTITUDE

Veterans and first responders may join the FORTITUDE specialty track today at The Recovery Village Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. FORTITUDE programs are also in development at several additional Advanced Recovery Systems facilities, including:

  • The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper
  • The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake

Firefighters and paramedics who are members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) may also receive specialized, trauma-informed substance abuse and mental health treatment designed for their profession at the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery.

VA Healthcare Plans Accepted

Several Advanced Recovery Systems facilities are honored to serve veterans as part of the VA Community Care Network. Through our partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, our Veteran Advocates help you navigate your health insurance benefits and Community Care eligibility. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make the approval process as seamless as possible and get you high-quality, professional addiction treatment for veterans.

Ready to start your recovery?

Let us know you’re a veteran or first responder when you call. We’ll get you specialized support to meet your needs.
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Which parts of the FORTITUDE program are specific to veterans and first responders?

Individual and family therapy sessions are tailored for FORTITUDE participants, as well as some group therapy sessions. Mealtimes, recreational therapies like yoga, free time and activities held outside the facility are co-mingled with civilians.

How long does the FORTITUDE program last?

The length of stay varies from client to client based on their recovery needs, level of treatment, progress and many other factors. However, the average length of stay for most residential clients is 35 days.

Will my VA benefits cover the FORTITUDE program?

VA healthcare plans may cover the FORTITUDE program through the VA Community Care Network, a network of private providers that accepts VA health insurance. Several Advanced Recovery Systems facilities are proudly part of this network. Veterans may request one of our dedicated Veteran Advocates to help them navigate their VA health benefits and Community Care eligibility. 

Will my private insurance cover the FORTITUDE program?

Many insurance companies cover some or all of substance abuse treatment costs, including treatment in the FORTITUDE program. Our Recovery Advocates can help you verify what’s covered in your insurance. 

Can I detox in the FORTITUDE program?

Yes, drug and alcohol detox is offered onsite and is the first step in recovery for most clients.

Can you enter FORTITUDE for mental health needs only?

Currently, the FORTITUDE program accepts clients for a substance use disorder and any co-occurring mental health conditions, but not for mental health needs alone.

Will I room with other first responders?

We make every effort possible to place FORTITUDE participants together. However, this cannot be guaranteed, per state regulations on level of care housing requirements. 

Does the FORTITUDE program work with workers compensation claims?

It can. Our admissions department and outreach team have experience navigating over 100 different worker’s compensation cases for clients and look forward to the opportunity to help you navigate this process.

Media or Business Inquiries

We’re happy to speak with you about media opportunities or answer your business inquiries around the FORTITUDE program. To contact our media team, send an email to Eric Mullins, Vice President of Digital Marketing.

We are here to help 24/7 321.527.2576