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    Our Counseling Services

    intensive outpatient program

    If you have been using alcohol or drugs and it has become a problem, or even just a concern, for you or someone you care about, we encourage you to talk with a professional counselor. If alcohol or drugs are causing you any type of difficulty such as getting into arguments with family or friends, job difficulties, legal difficulties, DWI, or having hangovers, it is especially important to get help.  If you or someone who cares isn’t sure if your use has become a problem, it is a good idea to have a substance abuse assessment by a trained professional. We regularly do assessments where we learned that there is no treatment recommended. At least the client, his/her family, or other interested party is more confident that there isn’t a problem, if that is the case.

    I came into this group somewhat resentful… After just my first meeting I actually went home feeling good and eager to talk about my visit. I learned a lot about myself and I am very grateful to my counselor and First Step Services. Anonymous

    First Step offers several proven interventions and treatments based on client need and preference. This is usually determined during the first session.  However, First Step believes that assessing client needs and wishes is an ongoing process. If a type of therapy is chosen during the first session, it can be changed if the needs of the client indicate that it should be changed. First Step treat a variety of discomforts and problems with sensitivity and compassion.

    The counselors were great and very open minded because everyone has a different situation. Overall it was a great experience; I would want to comeback but only to visit! Anonymous

    First Step uses a motivational model to help you not only end the problems associated with drug or alcohol use, but also to help you become a more self-confident person who is able to achieve your chosen goals in life. Alcohol and drug counseling can be the first step in getting your life back on track. Our therapists and counselors utilize a variety of proven therapy models including “12-Step support facilitation,” “Motivational Enhancement Therapy,” “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,” and “Stages of Change” group therapy to assist people who want to quit using alcohol and drugs.

    We practice a strengths based therapeutic relationship with our clients and patients. This client-counselor relationship focuses on what you already know and experience rather than on what you are doing wrong and shouldn’t do.  We honor and respect your values rather than what others think you “should” think, feel or do.

    “I’m blessed to still be here and know that I’m here for a reason and I have a purpose. My first impression of group was scared, nervous & embarrassed and ashamed and depressed. The group has helped pull me out of that darkness and that I’m not alone. You are awesome! I really appreciate all you do for the group. You make 3 hours fly by, as well as demand respect, and personal accountability. I have learned a lot from group that I will take with me. To the group – ya’ll are my teammates and I honestly hope the best for all of you. Thank you for bettering me!!” Anonymous

    First Step provides individual and group substance abuse and counseling services. Substance Abuse groups range from as few as 16 hours up to 90 or more hours, depending on your need. Prices and schedules are flexible. Alcohol, drug, and DWI Groups range from 20 – 90 hours.

    First Step provides ADETS (Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School) and Prime for Life according to NC DWI Services and NC Department of Human Services regulations.

    Substance Abuse Counseling Groups: First Step offers several outpatient treatment group options ranging from short term 20-30 hours, longer term 40-89 hours, IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), and aftercare.

    Week Day Morning Programs at our Raleigh Facility: First Step offers morning Intensive Outpatient Treatment at our Raleigh Facility Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings for 9 Am – 12 PM. Please call us for more information:  (919) 833-8899 or email 1ststep@firststepnc(dot)com.

    Every client who successfully completes any level of counseling groups, and is remaining abstinent, is welcome to continue aftercare for as long as he or she would like to attend for $5 per day. This aftercare program provides extra support during early recovery. 

    Inpatient, Residential & Hospital Aftercare:
    First Step Services, LLC provides Intensive Outpatient and General Outpatient aftercare for people completing and discharging from inpatient programs & hospitals across the country. We provide intensive group counseling, family counseling, individual counseling and other services as needed. The goal is to continue treatment and recovery while one transitions back into community living, returning to work, and resuming a “normal” lifestyle after completing inpatient or hospitalization.  We provide this service at all our locations. We can even begin meeting with you by video conferencing before you leave your inpatient facility to ease the transition.

    “Though inpatient put me on the right track to deal with my alcoholism, the treatment didn’t go beyond that to help me deal with my depression. When I came to First Step I had to deal with my depression and alcoholism.” Anonymous

    IOP, Longer Term Aftercare Program: 

    Every client who successfully completes any level of counseling groups at First Step, is remaining abstinent and no longer requires monitoring or reporting, is welcome to continue aftercare for as long as he or she would like to attend.  This aftercare program provides extra support during early recovery.  People who attend First Step group programs after completing an inpatient or residential program also qualify for the $5 per day aftercare program as long as you have completed your primary care at First Step, are remaining abstinent and are working a program of recovery.

    NC Board of Nursing Program:

    First Step is an approved provider for nurses who are required to attend treatment by the NC Board of Nursing. We meet all their assessment, treatment and aftercare requirements. We accept insurance for these services and provide a hardship/sliding fee scale for Nurses who do not have insurance. We provide these services at all our facilities.

    “I came due to the nursing board. I liked that the counselors involved me in my care and helped me in the steps I needed throughout this treatment process. I liked aftercare mostly because I was in a group with majority of the people were nurses. Even though we may have had different reasons for being in group we all understood each other. If I had any feedback that would help the group. I think an aftercare with all nurses would be helpful. Sometimes our issues are centered around the nursing board and I know it’s not helpful for both parties. It also helpful for new nurses entering the program to have the support of nurses that have been in it for some time. It’s a stressful time going through this whole process.” Anonymous

    Our Durham facility provides a court-approved Drug Education program. The program consists of four 2 1/2 hour sessions for a cost of $150. The cost may be broken up into 4 payments if requested. Our Drug Education may be used for Durham County clients as an alternative to the traditional Drug Education School.

    Substance Abuse Counseling:

    Abuse of alcohol and drugs causes a person’s life to be out of control. Substance abuse causes a number of financial, family, relationship, employment and personal problems. It is also a personal situation that requires sensitivity and professional assistance. If the client is motivated, CBT or Solution Focused Therapy may be used. If the client has not accepted that he or she is ready to change, Motivational Enhancement type therapy is used.

    Customers who want a group program instead of, or in addition to, individual sessions can attend the 16, 20, 40, 90 or more hour outpatient programs at First Step.

    DWI Assessments and Treatment:

    Short term groups are 20 – 30 hours and intermediate level longer-term groups are 40 – 60 hours. The number of groups a client is assigned to is determined by the assessment. The assessment is provided for every client and patient in our adult programs. A DWI Assessment is required by law of all who are convicted of DWI and DWLR. If it is your first DWI arrest and your Breathalyzer reading was .14 or less, you may qualify for ADETS, which is 16 hours. Call today for information.

    Victim Impact Speakers (VIP) Meeting

    VIP speaker meetings is held on every 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 6:30 –9:30 at our Raleigh facility.   Hear about DWIs from a victims point of view.  VIP speakers begin at 6:30. There is a short break, and we return to process our reactions to the personal stories. Cost is $50.

    “I recently spent five weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation center. Prior to returning to work I was advised to take some outpatient counseling. Coming to these groups has helped my understanding of my disease process as well as meeting others who were also shrugging. My therapist was excellent in facilitating these groups as well as allowing me to be open and honest this was a great experience.” Anonymous

    Gender Specific Counseling groups:  Women’s Group, Men’s Group

    First Step provides gender specific treatment to address a number of experiences and issues to better assist specific groups of people.  Our gender groups are typically small groups with specialized discussions appropriate for each group. Our Women’s and Men’s groups meet Monday evenings 6:00 – 9:00 PM at our Six Forks Road Raleigh location.

    Family Counseling and Couples Counseling for Alcohol and Drug Use Concerns:

    Sometimes the first step is for the family to reach out. The family asking for help might be just the thing that gets the alcohol or drug abuser to make positive changes. The person using alcohol or drugs might not be ready to quit. However, there is something the family can do to help. If you have reached your bottom, you might just be ready to help him or her to make changes. Contact First Step Services, LLC for more information on how to help an alcohol or drug user.

    F.A.C.E. (Family And Community Education):

    F.A.C.E. is a cost-free substance abuse education program that meets each Monday evening at 6:00 PM at the Raleigh facility in Suite 214. It is  program designed to assist those who have a substance user/abuser they are concerned about and do not know how to help. No appointment is necessary.

    “First impression was it needed to be about me and I truly cared about getting better. As time passed I learned and tried to help others- this in turn helped me. I realized my counselor had a great way of getting everyone involved and the group would not totally depend on her but evolved around the topics she discussed. No TV, it was great and I will truly miss all of the people I have come in contact with.” Anonymous

    Dr. Matthew Bader is Medical Director for First Step Services, LLC. Dr. Bader is an active contributor to the field of Psychiatry.  He is a board-certified physician who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Dr. Bader provides supervision to all our therapists and counselors to ensure each individual in our programs receive the highest quality clinical care. Dr. Bader can be seen at our Raleigh facility on Monday afternoons by appointment only.

    Mental Health Counseling:

    Mental health counselors are Licensed Clinical Social Workers and other Licensed Professional Counselors, Masters level counselors or higher. Therapists coordinate care with Dr. Matt Bader to provide the best mental health counseling possible.


    Choosing outpatient substance abuse treatment

    Choosing outpatient substance abuse treatment

    Congratulations! You have decided to seek information regarding counseling or education for alcohol or drug use.
    Substance use disorder – screening, referral and placement

    Substance use disorder – screening, referral and placement

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  • Client Experiences

    I learned a lot from the program. It helped me change the way I looked at myself and it was good to talk to people that had some of the same problem I did. It was good to talk about them without being judged. I had lost my self-respect for myself.


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