What is a DWI Treatment Group?

ADETS: Alcohol/Drug Education Traffic School

If you are assigned to an ADETS class as a result of your DWI assessment, you must complete 16 hours of alcohol, drug, & DWI education, sometimes known as DWI class. This is only provided by programs licensed by the State of NC to provide ADETS. The ADETS curriculum is Prime for Life required by the State of NC.  The cost of ADETS is $160 for DWI clients, which is set by law in the state. Non-DWI clients are allowed to attend ADETS/Prime For Life to meet court or other requirements, $185.

Level Two: Short-Term Treatment Program

As the result of your DWI substance abuse assessment, you might be required to complete a short-term Substance abuse treatment program. You would be placed in this program in accordance with guidelines issued by the N.C. Department of Human Services, which regulates DWI assessments and treatment. “All programs, whether private or public, must provide a minimum of 20 contact hours of treatment over a minimum of 30 days.” (NC DWI Services Administrative Rules)

The First Step short-term program consists of a program orientation and seven 3-hour group counseling sessions over no less than 30 days. These groups meet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. See the pages for the individual branches for schedules. There is a Saturday morning session at our Raleigh facility that meets from 9:00 AM until 12:00PM.

We will assist you in arranging a schedule that works best for you. State law requires one must complete the required number of hours for a short term in no less than 30 days.

“I entered First Step as a way to treat my addiction. I was very apprehensive and worried about myself, family and my future. Anxiety, guilt and shame were frequent emotions. Coming to group has helped me learn to deal with and identify these emotions. It has been so helpful talking about things and listening to others’ experiences. Over the last 4 months, I have learned how to better manage my anxiety and feel much better about myself and journey. I am happy to have had the help and am looking forward to continuing learning in Aftercare. Also learning how to prepare, identify and prevent relapse has been invaluable to my recovery.” Anonymous IOP/Aftercare group member

Level Three: Intermediate Level -Longer Term Treatment Program

As the result of your substance abuse assessment, you could be referred to  an Intermediate-term Substance Abuse Treatment Program. You would be placed in this program in accordance with guidelines issued by the N.C. Department of Human Resources, which regulates DWI assessments and treatment. Level III consists of a Program Orientation and 14 3 -hour sessions and an individual closing session, spread out over at least 60 days. Groups meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30 or 6:00 – 9:00 PM at our various facilities. A Saturday morning session meets in Raleigh from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM.

We will assist you in arranging a schedule that works best for you. NC DWI law states you must complete the required number of hours in no less than 60 days. DWI statutes also require no less than weekly attendance.

If moist is a concern, you might be able work out a payment plan or use health insurance to get your treatment hours completed.  Payment can be made by check, cash, credit card or money order.  All fees must be paid before your completion notice is sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Level 4:  Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program

90-hour Program, completed in no less than 90 days. Groups meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings at out Six Forks Road facility in Raleigh. See the pages for each First Step facility for schedules. This schedule is subject to change according to need.

Intensive groups meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday nights from 6 – 9 PM at their respective locations. Our Raleigh location provides morning IOP programs.  The Raleigh location morning IOP meets Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Health insurance covers this service at all our locations.

Will my health insurance pay for DWI counseling groups? 
Yes, health insurance will pay for substance abuse counseling groups for DWI. First Step is “in network” with most of the insurance providers in our area. For health insurance to pay, there has to be at least a “mild substance use” diagnosis. A “mild” diagnosis doesn’t indicate that there are ongoing patterns of substance abuse, just that alcohol or drug use has caused a problem in your life, such as DWI, minor possession charges, positive test at work/school, etc. These situations constitute “medical necessity” to prevent the situations from recurring. When you report for your assessment, bring in your health insurance card. Though insurance can’t pay for DWI assessments, bring it so we can check your benefits when you enroll. Insurance will not pay for ADETS or education classes, only treatment 20 or more hours.

“I was initially sent to First Step for outpatient treatment after completing a 28 day program in October 2011 and again in March of 2015 after a DUI. I have always felt extremely comfortable with all the counselors and any treatment plans. I have been fortunate to have learned and developed several coping skills and have benefited from all of the time with groups in a few ways. Being able to find people with similar issues has been a huge plus and has helped me to realize that I am not the only person that has received help. Also, discussing the reasons for my individual issues has been a great stress relief and has taught me how to relate to others and deal with the problems at hard in other ways than relying on substances. I am aware of what I need to stay focused on sobriety and have developed skills for dealing with situations when temptation presents itself.” Anonymous

I paid my fees and completed my program. Why can’t I get my drivers license restored?

The biggest reason for delays in getting drivers licenses restored is the assessment program was not informed of the conviction date.  DWI assessment & counseling agencies have no means of knowing when a case is resolved in court, whether conviction or dismissal. Until the client notifies us that the case has been resolved and the outcome date, a “508” form cannot be completed. The “508” form is the document the State of NC requires to process the paperwork allowing for restoration of driving records. The correct conviction date is absolutely required for the State of NC to release a drivers license for restoration. It is always up to the client to notify the DWI assessment agency of the conviction date or drivers licenses cannot be restored until that time.

“I was charged with a DWI. My attorney told me to come to First Step. I did not know what to expect but found First Step to be an environment of diverse people from all walks of life. I learned that all of us in group were on our journey of recovery, each heading down our own road. I met a lot of good and nice people. I learned from all the stories that brought each individual to First Step. Their experiences helped me to see that addiction is very powerful and controlling in people’s lives. I sincerely wish each and every one who comes to First Step a positive road to recovery and better life. I am grateful to the counselors for their dedication to the First Step program. It takes a special person to be in this job. Thank you for caring and your continuing support.” ~ Anonymous DWI Client upon completion of the First Step programAccepted Insurance programs.

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