First Step Services, LLC, A Brief History

Raleigh Facility

First Step was created in by Henry Tarkington in 2001, in Garner, NC as a single-therapist mental health and family counseling practice on June 12, 2001. In April 2002, Henry opened  “1st Step Substance Abuse & DWI Services,” the company’s first name, a fully licensed mental health and substance abuse intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment program. At the time, First Step was a part-time program providing substance abuse, mental health and family counseling services, open only in the evenings and on weekends. Henry, the Owner, had a day job to pay the bills.

On June 10, 2003, the name of the company officially became First Step Services, LLC, a reflection of our commitment and desire to provide a broader array of valuable services to those with substance use and mental health concerns. In August 2003, First Step opened our current facility at 211 E. Six Forks Road, Raleigh.

On August 1, 2003 Henry quit his day job and dedicated his career full time to First Step. His goal since day-one has been to help clients and patients end problems with substance use and mental health challenges. In January 2004, Henry hired the first full time employees at First Step. The program has grown steadily since that time.  In 2013, First Step expanded into Cary, NC providing substance abuse outpatient and mental health services to both adults and adolescents. In November 2014, we moved to our new Garner substance abuse and mental health facility at 1418 Aversboro Rd.

First Step provides mental health counseling and substance abuse services in Raleigh, Cary and Garner. All locations are fully licensed by NC Department of Health and Human Services. Our Medical Director and psychiatrist evaluates and treats clients with numerous mental health and mood disorders. Dr. Mazzaglia sees clients at our Raleigh location on Wednesdays and in Garner on Tuesdays.

In 2010, First Step completed the rigorous process of becoming fully accredited by CARF – the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. First Step Services, LLC was awarded the highest level of CARF Accreditation based on quality of services provided and our place in the community. We renew our CARF Accreditation every three years after submitting to a thorough CARF survey audit.

Our substance abuse and mental health counselors are among the best trained, most compassionate clinicians in the area. Our therapists are a mix of therapists with LCSW, LPC & LCAS credentials and Certified Substance Abuse Counselors. All our facilities are in network with most insurance companies that operate in the Triangle Region of North Carolina. Upon completion of any level of substance abuse treatment, clients maintaining abstinence and recovery are welcome to continue to attend aftercare for $5 per day for as long as they find it beneficial.

We at First Step are grateful to work with so many wonderful clients, patients, families, attorneys, schools, treatment centers, doctors, therapists, EAPs, corporations. We thank you all!

Henry Tarkington, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Location Phone Numbers:​

Call the branch nearest you:​

Affordable Alcohol & Drug Assessments​


Recent Articles:

More To Explore

4 Realities of Telehealth
Alcohol and Drug Addiction

4 Realities of Telehealth

COVID-19 has recently shined a different light on telehealth. In a world where hospitals are overwhelmed, and the front-line healthcare workers are our everyday heroes, a trip to the ER, or family physician should be avoided at all costs. While telehealth is not a new solution, the recent surge in demand has made it a viable option for a variety of healthcare needs. Since telehealth is a remote healthcare option, it does not pose the same risks as an in person visit.

NC DHHS DWI Services
Alcohol and Drug Addiction

NC DWI Offense

NC DHHS DWI Services has approved telehealth services due to COVID-19. We are here to assist clients seeking services for a DWI infraction. In calculating a DWI or DUI, sometimes

Our self-pay rates will soon be updated. Please contact our staff for more information.