Beneath the Vest: Police officer alcoholism

Officer Joe Peterson wrestled with alcoholism and the stresses of life as a police officer, a sometimes combustible combination


If you are struggling with alcohol or other substance abuse, help is available. SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

By PoliceOne Staff

OC87 Recovery Diaries is an interactive website that features stories of mental health, empowerment and change.

In the second of a three-part series with first responders titled “Beneath the Vest: Conversations about Mental Health,” Officer Joe Peterson of the Norristown Police Department in Norristown, Pennsylvania, shares how the cumulative effects of trauma took a toll, and “ending the pain” became a mantra for him that led to some very dark moments: “You fight monsters for so long that you become a monster. And I became a monster.”

 

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