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    Client Experiences

    First Step Services Client Experiences

    substance abuse treatment success stories

    Read about some of the experiences from the clients of First Step

    “First Step is a great place to come to; to receive an assessment and treatment. The group sessions were very helpful in understanding the problems that arise from the substance abuse. The entire staff was very understanding and helpful. I would highly recommend First Step to anyone.” MG

    “What brought me to First Step I was smoking weed. The first time in group I didn’t know what to think, but I really enjoyed everything that I’ve gotten from First Step. I would just like to say that this group has helped me out a lot. It has opened my eyes to so many things, meeting people like we all would say, just might not of talked to in any other places, but now we have become one. I don’t know what could be harder walking out these doors not seeing any of you guys faces again or not having anything to do on Saturday’s. I really look forward to coming here because it gives me a chance to open up, and I don’t do this anywhere else. I want to thank the both of you for taking the time to show us that we can make it without using.” Anonymous

    “Prior to class I was very skeptical about coming. Coming to group really opened my eyes to my addiction. I know that although I am done here at First Step the recovery process still goes on. These group sessions have been a blessing in disguise. I know that I am leaving First Step a better man than when I first walked through the door.” Anonymous

    “First Step was Awesome! This is the third treatment cent I’ve been to and was by far the best First Step doesn’t try to shove anything down your throat; they leave information on the table and allow you to take it yourself. I think that helps people open up. Neither Cynthia nor Phyllis views us as people with problems but people who have messed up somehow and they try to keep you from making the same mistake. The best part about Phyllis and Cynthia is that they relate to people in their own way. Most places I’ve been every counselor says they’ve had a DUI or drinking tickets, they basically say anything to try and relate to you and in some cases it’s easy to know they’re lying. Cynthia relates to us with her dieting struggles, the struggles are true and it is easy to relate. Group was also fun which helps a TON!!!”  MM

    “I received information with a list of possible providers to contact for assistance with getting an assessment. Initially, I felt embarrassed for even having to call and say that I had a DWI – my first and LAST one. Looking down the list, I chose to examine those closest to my home in driving distance. I came across First Step Services location and looked at their website. It was very informative and after reading testimonials, I was sold! Now, after having my treatment sessions, I can truly see why it was so beneficial to come here. Jessi and Tonya were both wonderful counselors and encouraged everyone to be willing to open up about feelings as well as their stories. The group icebreakers and activities allowed me to look deep down within, do soul-searching and take steps to be both positive and forgiving. I am very grateful for being allowed to have treatment and it has enhanced my life in a much better way.”  Anonymous

    “What brought me here to First Step was the use of weed. I failed a pre-drug screen with my CDL’s which cause me to take the classes to get my CDL’s back. I had no idea of what to expect my first day of group but it was great. During my time attending groups, I have learned a lot, I learned about the laws and dealing with DUI’s and DWI’s. These groups have helped me sustain from using and choosing a different lifestyle. I really enjoyed myself and I thank you for all the love and support I received from treatment.”  CH

    “Just like a lot of people, I came to First Step Services because of a DWI. I had no idea what to expect, and to be honest there were some people who weren’t taking group seriously. However, the longer I came, the more I enjoyed it. I really made strong connections with other group members, and I hope to stay in with aftercare. I learned a lot about myself in this room, as well as other people. I think that the most valuable thing I gained here was learning how to open my eyes and see things more clearly – I have met so many people here I would never have met otherwise, and they surprised me in such a positive ways. I also learned that recovery is a long process – I’m not going to be “fixed” of all my substance abuse in a month or a year; it’s a constant work in progress, but First Step has definitely helped me get on the right track, and for that I am so grateful.” MM

    “I enjoyed my time here at First Step Services. I thought that the counselors were extremely helpful and supportive. Before I entered the program, I drank alcohol almost every evening, and the program enabled me to reflect on that decision. After abstaining from using alcohol for some time, I thought about my abuse and how it was negatively affecting my life. I found that when I stopped drinking, I felt overall that I had more energy and felt as if I didn’t have anything hindering myself. I also continued my abstinence from marijuana use, as I had not used for months prior to the program. Although I hadn’t used for a long time anyway, I successfully continued my abstinence, which I am very proud of.  Overall I really enjoyed my time at First Step and took away lessons that I will use for the rest of my life.” Anonymous

    “I was at the beach with a friend and went out to dinner.  The restaurant was a bar/club attached to it was just opening up as we were leaving.  We decided to stay for a few drinks.  These few drinks turned into enough for me to spend the next 18 in jail and DUI Charge.  The courts said I had to come here so that was my mentality.  At some point during my sessions I thought I might as dwell try it.  You know give in an open up, listen to others and see how I could relate.  It really is interesting to hear other stories and realize I’m not the only person with these issues.  Jessica and Tonya are very helpful if you want them to be and can be a great resource.  Some of their activities can be fun and make you look at things /yourself differently.  Thirty days can be a long time for some and no problem for others.  My inspiration was that 30 days isn’t the beginning of the end, it was the beginning of knowing alcohol doesn’t have to be involved in every aspect of everyday of my life.  It’s my life not Alcohol’s!!!” Anonymous

    “I was brought to First Step because NCSU student conduct required a drug assessment for a charge for possession of marijuana I received in November. At first I resented the people and the process at First Step. I did not recognize as an addict, or even as someone with a substance problem. Marijuana was my drug of choice and I thought it was okay because it isn’t considered unhealthy as alcohol. However, I learned by listening to others that I abused marijuana too often, and it was the reason for my enrollment here. First Step gave me a safe environment where I knew everyone was clean, and that pushed me to stay clean. The group interventions taught me about things that applied to me so well and things that I’d even noticed but not as something that was a problem. First Step gave me the maturity and faith to be clean and hopefully stay clean.” CP

    “I was instructed to complete 20hours of alcohol and substance abuse education by Yonk County in Virginia. I moved to NC shortly after, so I sought to complete my requirements here (at First Step). In order to reach VA’s requirements I completed 16hours of ADETS plus two groups for a total of 22hours. ADETS and the education experience was a positive one. I did take away good info on impairment and healthy drinking choices.” ML

    “When I entered the group I was in the mindset of “do it because you have to”. As I progressed through my treatment, I heard other people’s stories, and shared my own. My eyes were opened to the real world. Being so young (age 18), I was able to learn and listen to other people’s experiences. I was able to learn from the things that people have experienced. For myself, I was able to learn about what my values and goals are. I was able to make priorities of what is important to me. I was able to better my decision-making skills. Lastly, I learned how my decisions affect other people and not just myself. Thank you Ms. Cynthia and Ms. Phyllis.” Anonymous

    “I was first brought to group because I brought marijuana into my dorm room. I feel that getting into trouble was in a way the best thing that could happen. Over the course of coming to group I learned quite a bit. Tonya and Jessie were both really helpful with helping me feel comfortable expressing things. I feel that group teaches you how to better deal with problems that occurs in everyday life. I will definitely use the things that I have learned in group and apply them to my everyday life.”  Anonymous

    “I got a DUI last year in March, my initial thought was I didn’t think I needed any additional classes, I had taken classes in PA and also worried with counselors and really didn’t know what to expect. I’m really happy that I took these classes they helped me get over guilt, they helped me be more open about my DUI, they made me realize that my DUI was the best thing that happened to me. I learned a lot about myself what signs to watch for, and it helped me understand that I’m not alone everyone makes mistakes. Treatment made me feel more open about my DUI and helped me get a better understanding of addiction, and really what to watch out for in the future; it gave me strength rather than guilt. Treatment made me get brave with myself.” BC

    “When I first began group I was honestly dreading coming and thought I didn’t have a problem. The truth is if I didn’t have a problem I wouldn’t have been here. I’ve really enjoyed being able to hear everyone’s stories and learn from others experiences and my own. Jessie and Tonya have helped me think about things I’ve never sat down and thought about myself. I’ve learned about my values, triggers that make me want to drink, coping strategies and so much more. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned and gained in group and using it to stay positive and try to achieve my goals.” Anonymous

    “A recent bad car accident and DWI brought me here; initially I thought I didn’t have a “Real” drinking problem as I drank seldom and not a lot even then. What I learned was I should not drink even as I have a chronic stomach condition and drinking is really bad for my health. I learned that I drank mostly though anxiety as my life has been pretty rough since my husband and I separated November 12th.  Treatment made me take a good look where I am and where I would and should be at this point in my life; I learned new coping skills and I still need structure as I will attend AA meetings for myself and maybe meet new friends with similar goals. Going forward I want to be the woman I was and can be. Thank you.”  KR

    “My biggest feedback would be the positive nature of my first and all visits I interacted with the First Step Staff. At no point did I feel judged or treated less than I thought someone should be. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful guiding me through the process. My counselors (I had four) were all super friendly and adapt to their profession; both pushing people beyond comfort levels, listening, encouraging, and preparing activities to help me confront my expectation of myself. Treatment has helped me put a label on my alcoholism and confronted it head on. I thought I was just unlucky as I entered the program. Now I see this more as a blessing. Spending all that money wasn’t fun but the aftermath of it continued on this path could have been worse than spending money on a group that is helping me be a better person.” Anonymous

    “Initially I was nervous and annoyed that I had to come to First Step. I didn’t think I would be able to make it to 40hours. After the first couple sessions I quickly changed my mind. I began learning a lot and learned how to avoid many difficult situations. Hearing others was most beneficial. I learned that by putting yourself in a state where you are unable to make the right decisions you most likely won’t and things can change in an instant. To avoid being put in a difficult situation I must have to be in the correct state of mind so that nothing can cloud my judgment. I appreciate all that you two have done for me as well as the entire group.”  Anonymous

    “A DWI brought me to First Step Services in early September. I had heard about this place after I had to complete an ADETS class a few years back for an underage drinking ticket. So when I was told to complete these classes I turned back to First Step because of my previous experience with them. My first impression of the counselors was that they were very nice and helpful. The first time I walked into group I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. However, the first group was very relaxing and made me feel comfortable in the setting. I thought the group was going to be more of the counselors telling you how bad you were and make us feel bad about ourselves, but instead it was more of a support group which I found out to be very helpful. Listening to other people’s stories and relating them to me knowing that I’m not the only one out there dealing with stuff like this was very helpful. Also determining what triggers me to drink and use has allowed me to identify those situations and replace those activities with other more beneficial ones. Thank you Tonya and Jessica for everything you’ll were helpful and beneficial.”  Anonymous

    “I was introduced to First Step Service program because of a DWI that I received during the most difficult time in my adult life. My wife and I had separated, we had just gone through a very draining and expensive custody battle over our two children and she left the state to move to New Jersey that day. I felt like I was faced with the Perfect Storm and things couldn’t get much worse. I was wrong; my poor decision to get behind the wheel after an afternoon of drinking at a golf tournament made things even worse and that much more complicated. I considered my situation a very unfortunate isolated event. Drinking alcohol was never an issue for me. I questioned, why did I need group? My first night I expressed my concern and confusion as I immediately realized with feedback from the group, that I was not alone with feeling this way. These group sessions have made me stop, step back and learn a lot about myself. It was even more of a wake-up call than the actual event of my DWI. It made me realize some of the triggers that have caused me to make bad decisions. Tonya and Jessi have been very supportive with feedback and activities to help me think. Completely eliminating alcohol during this time has allowed me to focus on the more important things in my life, like my kids, work friends, family and a healthier lifestyle. I also know that this is just a speed bump in my life and it does not define me. I really enjoyed listening and learning from others in the group. I also felt the support from others when sharing my situation and my experiences. I enjoyed the sessions that focused on my strength and what defines me as a person. I will concentrate on these aspects in my life and continue to grow.” Anonymous

    “I was not sure initially what to expect; and to my surprise I found it interesting, informative and most of all life changing. I think hearing other group members gives everyone a common ground to relate to. I have enjoyed my counselor; they have been pleasant; I would like to say the biggest impact for me is the realization that my one decision (extremely bad decision) did not just impact me, and my wallet but so much more. My family, friends, co-workers have all had reactions and been affected to some degree. Thanks for what you’ll do!”  GAM

    “At first I was apprehensive about attending the group only because I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed group from the beginning because it was a place where I could express my emotions and feelings without being judged. The counselors were very supportive and have a nice way of bringing out each person’s thoughts in a non-threating way. I learned that I will need tools to not drink as I had before. I have not used alcohol in the last 32 days and will continue that path. (Hopefully) I also realized that I am not alone with my legal issues and they will pass. Treatment has changed me to realize my drinking is very serious and must be treated.”  JR

    “I came to First Step treatment because I needed to complete treatment so I could get my driver’s license back. When I first came to group I figured it would be the same as the last treatment I did for my second DUI. As I progressed in the groups I was pleased to find out that it was not like the first one. Instead of a lot of videos and class like therapy, I felt like I was part of something, kind of the way I feel when I attend AA meetings. Having two counselors were better than the one that I had last time, there was more of a one on one feeling. The most helpful thing I got was I got back on track with my meeting attendance, I was starting to attend them less and less, my past proved that this is a bad thing, I plan on replacing the groups with more meetings!”  CR

    “I came to First Step to fulfill the terms of my probation with the idea that I could still use as long as I didn’t test positive. I had no intention of staying clean. After I tried to stop using on my own to avoid positive drug screens, I experienced a harsh reality of not being able to stop. I am glad I was enrolled here because it gave me accountability until I wanted to actually stop using. When I became willing, group was a place I could share about my problems and feel genuine care from other members. Holly was excellent at pushing me to participate and making me feel an important member of the group. If there was one thing I could change it would be to have each group member tell their story on their second session. We did this at a treatment center and I know for me, it made me feel exponentially more comfortable.”  FB

    “I approached group with this idea that I’d be a “normal” person amongst a bunch of weathered alcoholics. Upon listening to other people, perspectives and stories, none of which in my opinion are categorized that way – I encountered a lot of self-reflection in a light I’d never seen before. I’ve realized a lot of what makes my drinking a problem and are the reasons why what Jessie calls “triggers”; anxiety. This has been the source of my teenage drug use, as well as multiple personal problems and group has inspired me to take action and address it. Yes, I expected the subject matter to be repetitive and at no point was a topic repeated without necessary elaboration. The stories of my peers were so diverse it was inspiring to realize that people resort to the same means of copings despite the difference in background, but we are all capable of alternative means of coping. I love that my last class addressed “denial” because I have been internally confronting my battle with denial throughout my experience here.”  JK

    substance addiction, abuse, use

    “When first coming to group, my opinion/thoughts of the sessions were very poor. I felt as if I was in elementary class talking about feelings and drawing, but, as time passed I became respectful for what First Step Services does for individuals as well as for myself. I have learned a lot about me and what could/are my triggers to consuming alcohol. I enjoyed revisiting my values in life and how I would feel if they were to be taken away. I feel this class will make me more responsible and thoughtful to my wellbeing and people/work. I have realized that it’s my fault that I’m here and need to deal better with stressors this life throws at me. I hope others will learn from my mistakes, and become aware it only takes one time to change your life! Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react!”  Anonymous

    “I naturally viewed First Step as a mandatory inconvenience. I also did not think I had a problem. The more I opened up as the groups went on, the more opportunities for self-reflection arose. Although it is not major, I definitely should slow my drinking down. The group members and activities at First Step have allowed me to learn new methods to control my habit and new ways of thinking to look on the bright side even when it gets tough. Jessie was a great leader and did an awesome job maintaining and guiding the open, positive atmosphere in each group.” Anonymous

    “When I first started First Step I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really do appreciate everything I have learned. I leave here feeling better, more energetic. The most helpful thing was being open and hearing how others can relate to you, realizing that you’re not alone makes it easier, not as tense to what to open up because there is no judgment. Treatment has changed me in ways I didn’t think it would. I am healthier, I go to the gym more, my home is more organized. My lifestyle has changed, who I surround myself by. I realized I don’t need to go downtown just to have a good time.” Anonymous

    “I came to First Step because the court ordered me to complete counseling and I really didn’t want to do it. When I first came here the counselors were very warming, understanding and helpful in a timely manner. The groups were completely different from my first impression. I thought it was going to be lectures of how things are bad and that I can’t do it, but it was more based on discussions of my experiences. 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! Thanks Jess!”  Anonymous

    “My initial impressions of the counselors were good. My assessment counselor was not very pushy and I was made to feel relaxed. During group the counselors made group enjoyable for most of the group members. What I thought was most helpful was hearing the group members stories and their issues. I learned that there are others with more issues than I have. I also learned I was not alone with mistakes I have made in my life. Treatment has changed me to realize that we are all human and that we make mistakes. If we learn from our mistakes, we can move past the present to the future. I know treatment has made it easier to talk about my feelings. Most everyone in group was friendly to including the counselors. I had a great experience here at First Step and I thank everyone that has helped me through this process.” JC

    “I was referred to First Step by my DOT assessor due to failing a random drug screening. I was reluctant about starting the group sessions due to financial problems from losing my job. Before starting I had made up my mind on quitting smoking Marijuana. Being in group has really helped me solidify my actions on reaching my goals. I have enjoyed everyone’s feedback on the discussions in group. I liked that it was more than just about substance abuse. Talking about family and other relationships has helped me think about other things I need to work on in my life. I’m ready to get my job back and move on with my life. Big thanks to Jessie and Bill for being great counselors.”  Anonymous

    alcohol drug counseling outcomes

    “My first impression of group was that I was in a room full of the same type of people as me. In fact I am the same as many, but, different than them all as well. I have met some really great enlightening people, people who share the same walks of life, passions, and ambitions as I do. I have learned a lot from the counselors, but at the same time I feel like I have been able to teach in a non-purposeful manner. I feel like it’s a good way to vent, release, and get rid of the weekly stresses and temptations. I have been directly affected in more ways than I am able to explain. Thanks for the support, and I appreciate what each of you has done for me.” MV

    “What brought me to First Step was my DWI. Before attending my first group I was very nervous and had no clue to what to expect. My first group was very nerve racking because I get nervous talking in front of groups of people. My first impressions of the counselors were, they seemed very inviting and caring. Through check-in in my first group I became a little more comfortable. I quickly realized that I was not the only one who was in for what I was in for. I learned a lot about myself and realized that there were many things within myself and around myself that I needed to change. Hearing other group members tell their stories was an eye opener to work more on myself and my education. I have appreciated everyone’s open mind and honesty. First Step is an amazing place. Thank you, Ms. Phyllis and Ms. Cynthia for everything.”  Anonymous

    committing to alcohol and drug abuse treatment

    “First Step is a very organized and professional group. It is easy to see that they are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all their clients. Group IOP is a special experience that allows those of us in need a change to really know and understand ourselves and others that are going through difficult times. You’re not alone.”  Anonymous

    “What brought me to First Step was a new job celebration that went too far. For a long time I always felt that I can drink and drive because I will trust myself behind the wheel before anyone else. I always felt like this could never happen to me and I would never get caught. This has truly been a wake-up call, especially hearing the VIP speakers come in and tell their stories. I think Mr. Raymond, Ms. Phyllis and Ms. Cynthia for bringing a lot of different things to my attention. The open discussions were very helpful. I learned that I can go out and have a good time without abusing alcohol. This experience has changed me because it gave me a reality check to let me know “oh yes this can happen to you too.” I feel God put you in certain situations in life to get your attention.” Anonymous

    “I was brought to First Step by a DWI. First and foremost I would like to thank my counselors, Ms. Cynthia and Ms. Phyllis for everything. You ladies have been very nice and helpful with my treatment. You always answered questions willingly and thoughtfully. This program has helped me see that I’m not alone in this struggle of addiction. Group is an army of me. What has helped me the most is to sit back and listen to what others have to say. I take what others say in and make relations to it whether it is a positive or negative outlook. As far as coming back; a lesson lived is a lesson learned.”  DW

    “My reason for coming to First Step is due to my May 3rd DUI. Before my DUI, I was NOT happy and unsure about how I wanted to live my life. Before May 3rd I was depressed, worried, staying out all night, sleeping all day, and not an active member of my family or the world. Now since my DUI I feel like I have a new view and feeling on life. I value my family, my friends, and the air I breathe. I look at my DUI as a good thing; a second chance. My treatment here at First Step has been that of support and caring.  I am very grateful to all of my counselors here at First Step. My counselors have supported me in bettering my foundation to strive. The information I learned from my 16-hour ADETS class has really given me the information I need to make informative decision about drinking. Coming to group has showed me that I am not alone and that we are all in it together. After all the time, after all the money, and after all the heart ache; I am grateful for my DUI! My DUI saved my life!” KD

    “I came into this program after getting in trouble at school. My first day of coming in I picked a nice seat in the corner, crossed my arms and tried to be invisible. I didn’t think this program would help me in any way, shape, or form. I just wanted to go through the motions and be done with it. After listening to people for a while and seeing how well they treated each other and how much fun they were having while being sober. I caught myself starting to actually listen to what people were saying appose to just hearing the words. I started to relate to the experiences that were being shared and I caught myself actually sharing myself. As the weeks trailed on I actually became friends with quite a few of the people there. I actually started looking forward to going to these meetings I had once dreaded. My family and friends started noticing positive changes in me shortly after that and honestly I did too not just in my personality but how I felt as well. If you come into this program with an open mind you will be amazed at what it can do for you.” Anonymous

    “When I started coming to group I felt a little out of place. After being here a couple of times I started feeling more relaxed and comfortable. Phyllis and Cynthia are amazing counselors. They really helped me find out a lot about myself and how to better deal with the things in my life. I have found that my substance abuse was a way to not deal with things. Also I have realized my triggers and ways to better not put myself in those situations. This group has helped me in many ways; I am going to take what I have learned and try to apply it to my everyday life. I do realize every day is a struggle, but I will take it day by day.”  Anonymous

    “I first came to First Step as part of the process of a DUI. I entered the group to do what I needed to do. However through Phyllis, Cynthia and the group sharing I was afforded an opportunity to look at myself and learn new skills, or re-examine known skills and apply them to my life where I am at today. Phyllis and Cynthia and their gentle, sometimes subtle but always direct facilitation of group have given me so much and I am truly grateful for them and the process of First Step.  What began as a chore, almost resentment has been a gift. Don’t get me wrong I would never put myself in the situation that brought me to First Step again, but group, Phyllis and Cynthia have allowed me and at times, forced me to look at myself so that I will become a person that will not experience the shame and embarrassment that my DUI brought me. A gift that I will be able to share with others, thanks.” Anonymous

    “I came to First Step on a referral from a coworker for a DWI. I found the staff to be courteous and helpful and the facility to be neat and organized. Groups were well run and interesting to be a part of. I learned a lot about ways to cope with negative patterns of alcohol abuse. It was helpful to hear stories and ideas from people from different walks of life. I was reluctant to share at first, but the group and counselors were friendly and inviting and I felt comfortable by the end of the first meeting. I already made a committed to abstaining from alcohol well prior to starting my treatment here, but it was a useful reinforcement more the less.” AS

    “When I first came to group I was kind of taking it as a joke. It was just something that I had to do for court. I never really planned on stop drinking while I was driving, but after the first group I really started getting insight into my life. By the second group I started realizing how much of my life I had wasted by drinking. So after the second group I stopped drinking cold turkey. Thanks to [the counselors] and the rest of the group members, and me being sober, I got so much insight into my life that I realized how much faster I can progress and be successful in my life without drinking. I learned that with me alcohol was just a tool to help me be entertained while doing nothing.  When you’re doing nothing you’re not progressing and just wasting time out of your life.” BF

    “The counselors at First Step have been extremely helpful. They seem to genuinely believe in the cause and seem to know who they are talking to. Looking inward and getting to know yourself and checking in on yourself and your motives for doing things is helpful and these groups give you tips to do that.” Anonymous

    “I came to First Step after being convicted of my second DWI as I needed treatment to be able to get my license reinstated. Fortunately I had quit drinking about a year and a half before coming to First Step after having met up with an old drinking buddy I hadn’t seen in eight years. He had destroyed his liver and kidneys from the heavy drinking we did. That was my ‘wake-up call’ that I had to stop that behavior or I would wind up like him. I made a point not to treat First Step as something I had to just go through the motions of. I believe in life we should capitalize on opportunities and I viewed First Step as an opportunity to learn from my counselors, who did a great job of keeping group fun and positive; and to learn from perhaps teach something to my peers in the group. I feel like I accomplished both.”  Anonymous

    “I came to First Step because I received a DWI in December. My lawyer recommended I take this treatment because I would have to because of court. When I first started with this treatment I was hesitant like I have been through something like this for a past DWI and it was all videos of deaths caused from drinking and driving. This was so different through. Jessie/Bill were very energetic counselors and made these groups interesting to attend. We learned about alcoholism and addiction and ways to cope. I would recommend this group to anyone who needs it.”  AD

    “Actually First Step was a great experience. I’m not going to stop coming; I’m going to come back on Monday’s. I really learned in group things about myself that I really couldn’t see. I learned that if you be honest with yourself first and accept responsibility for your actions; to learn from your mistakes and don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again and to always stay open minded. Think about what you’re going to lose before you pick up. Think about other people you would affect before you use. I also learned that we are somebody no matter what our circumstances may be. Thank you Jessie you are a great counselor and I really hope that your job not stay at one level hope you prosper and be great in your line of work.”  LRA

    “A DUI arrest brought me to First Step. When I walked through the door I felt apprehensive about opening up to the group, however as I participated more I felt more comfortable and began to realize that I was not alone with my addiction. I learned that I do not need alcohol and can live without it. Coming to the meetings changed my views on life and made me realize what triggers set me off. I would like to thank the staff at First Step for being open minded and patient with me. Thank you so much  Holly!” PM

    “I came to First Step because my transportation asked me to find something convenient for my home to work route. First Step was the treatment center closet to my work, so it became easier to get to group since I stated here. I have been to group at other facilities before coming to First Step, and First Step has proven to be the most interesting, professional, and useful treatment center of all of them. My initial impression of the group and counselors was that the people involved take these matters seriously and want to see people change for the better of themselves in their future. I learned much about myself, including things that trigger use, situations to avoid, and how to reduce stress. I also learned ways to use my time and money more efficiently as well as positively. I learned about other people’s ideas toward dealing with the same circumstance. Learning about other group members and ways they can deal with abstaining from use was most useful in that I now have a broader outlook on dealing with harmful situations in the future. I enjoyed every group session here at First Step and thank you.”  JG

    “A DUI had brought me to First Step and was voluntary with the reference of a coworker. The most helpful to me was the feedback from the counselor and other group members. The exercises we did in group were fun and had a purpose to them, such as using powerful words like “willpower” another helpful and has been most helpful is using “refusal” skills and for me not so much to other people but using it for myself. I learned in group about myself how not to keep bad things bottled up inside, but how to bring it out by speaking to others which I have always had a hard time with. Treatment from coming to group has changed my thinking process quite a bit, like knowing high or low risk situations, using refusal skills and knowing my values which help in everyday situations. My first impression on my first night at group was, I thought this is corny and weird but it was the interaction that made it all make sense.”  MP

    “Well when I first came to First Step my initial thought was this is some Bull xxxxx. I felt is was Just a way to make money. I was angry disappointed in myself and very anxious to get through with everything. About half way through my groups I had a change of heart when I met the inspirational speakers and saw the effects that were done on their lives. It was an eye opener and I realize how important it is for some sobriety. I spoke with a man whose addiction impacted someone else’s life and now he is clean an d I see the struggle he faces day to day to stay clean. This program is very important and I learned that I don’t have to be a part of a inner circle I can be alone and it is OK. I really appreciated the counselors for being so understanding and polite throughout my experience here at First Step.” TS

    “During the time I was here, I worked on the 3 goals set prior to starting group. I got more out of group than I thought I would. I think the counselors did outstanding job and I may come back to visit.” CC

    “I came into group optimistic. I came in with an open mind and heart. I wanted to learn how to become a better person and to improve my habits and my life. I learned several “tools” from the counselors and group members that I can apply daily. I have used this group as a way to guide my fight into growth and self improvement.” S

    “I came to First Step after being arrested for a DWI. Upon first attending group, I was apprehensive and nervous. By the end of the check- in my first group these feelings were gone. I found it much easier to cope with the hard times ahead and to stop felling guilty and disappointed with myself. Treatment at First Step helped me to realize how I can get through my issues and use many different means to recover. I also learned about my triggers and how they can be avoided. In all, I am happy that I had the sessions and services available to me during my hard times. All of the staff was personable helpful and did a great job making me feel comfortable being in group.” JG

    “Like so many others, I came to First Step as a last resort to free myself from addiction and reclaim my life. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually broke with only a glimmer of hope. In desperation I faithfully attended group meetings, two times a week, for three months, and as time went on, the hope that I might restore my health grew more and more. When I graduated, I had obtained the needed tools to live a clean and sober life, but there was something missing.” Anonymous

    “My initial impressions of First Step were both a sense of embarrassment and a though I wasn’t going to get much out of the “group” meetings. Quickly I found the counselors to be very knowledgeable and understanding to the needs of every individual. I also saw that they treatment everyone the same yet different as ones needs were noted. I did enjoy the family feud game and found that it was a great way to emphasize learning and understanding the subject manner. I do absolutely feel my decision making process will be different in the future. I know that I will put a plan together for any evening activities that include alcohol. I have learned that a $25.00 cab ride is a lot cheaper and not to mention safer than taking a chance with my life and someone else’s.” SC

    “My DWI Conviction is what brought me to First Step Services. From the very first day I came in with a positive attitude to take something positive away from this experience. My initial impressions of the counselors were that they were all helpful and concerned for our well-being. I thought that they did a good job of interacting with the group and getting every member involved with the discussion. The most helpful part of the process was the open dialogue that I engaged in with the group. It was refreshing to share experiences and relate to others with similar circumstances. I learned that my irresponsible actions affected not only me, but those close to me as well. The treatment has left a lasting impression on me as I move forward.” JTR

    “Initially, when I looked this facility up, I didn’t think I was doing anything but trying to finally pay and do the 20 hours to get my license back. I came in with a get it done attitude, not planning on taking anything from it. However, I learned that everyone (myself involved) needs a wakeup call. God did not give us the ability to reproduce without giving up real life examples. I learned that if you make a mistake and you never learn from it you will forever spiral in the same direction. Learned my lesson and changed my way after I made my mistake and didn’t’ continue down that path. I also learned I have other issues that I need to deal with. I’m proud of myself for finally accomplishing this task. I enjoyed meeting Amy and Cynthia and the other lady Phyllis. Although Cynthia’s was my favorite, her approach was realistic. Amy was down to earth and IU related to her as well. Then content could have been better however but overall it helps others. I learned I have a lot to live for and that as long as I know right from wrong and learn from mistakes I can be successful. Thank you for helping me reaches my goal. A costly one at that was worth it.” Anonymous Client

    “I was a patient at First Step due to my DWI. I immediately felt welcomed and comfortable sharing my story. Every session, I was educated on work and I learned what to do in situations where I feel unsafe. Bill and Jessie were fabulous counselors who taught us in fun, exciting ways that made me actually eager to come to group. They challenged me to think in ways I had never thought before and to cherish my values day to day. Each group was a joy to be in and I never dreaded a moment.” ST

    “Initially, the DWI was just causing punishment, but after I got over the anger and shame of the situation I realized that maybe it happened at an opportune time to get myself back on tract. I shifted my attitude to be positive and I think the groups really enforced that. I really think it was beneficial to focus on myself as a individual and learn how to better myself. I learned a lot of important aspects of myself that can better all aspects of my life stay positive and more forward.” HH

    “I was arrested for Assault and have to do DOSE and alcohol treatment. I was a little nervous at first but after a few groups I felt at ease. I felt very calm because I am around people that have the same problems and thoughts. Cynthia was very calm and so funny. She is serious at group but knows how to have fun. Phyllis is very strong and has a heart of gold. I will never forget them and Ray. I have learned that I can us the tools not just for drinking but in everyday situations. Also that speaking with others about common problems does help. I made a major mistake, and I took responsibility for what happened. I came here to do the program with a good attitude and I have learned from my group sessions and my AA meetings.” MMD

    “I found the program and the counselors very helpful. Phyllis and Cynthia do a excellent job creating a safe open and nonjudgmental atmosphere. I always felt that I could speak my mind freely about addiction or any other subject. The presentation that was given by the speakers from the victim’s advocacy group were particularly effective. I’m sure I’ll remember their stories whenever I’m around alcohol. As for how I’ll apply the lesions from group in the future, I do think I’ve gotten to a secure place regarding abstaining from drinking and driving. The stories I’ve heard in group will help to reinforce my strategies for maintaining sobriety and safety. I’ve also learned a few signs of addiction that I’ve seen in friends and family.. What I’ve learned in group will help me to help them in the future. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and about addiction and will be sure to carry these lesions with me going forward.” WAB

    “I was very skeptical coming to group but I ended up really enjoying it. I think it made a huge impact on my situation and other aspects of my life. I think the activities were really important and allowed me to think of things I don’t typically think about. I also felt it was really important to hear the stories of others. I think hearing that others, especially people you don’t “expect” to be in this situation, older people, professionals are going through some things similar and learning from it will really help me put it in perspective.” Thank You

    “Court made me attend First Step Substance Abuse treatment... At first I was a shy and timid because I didn’t know anyone, but after I kept attending a few groups it became something different than I originally thought. Everyone was open about their experiences,and I learned a lot from the group members, such as making healthy decisions andlearning how to stop when you need to avoid more problems. I learned and listened to what people were saying and what they were going through. It was a good experience for me.” SY

    “Substance Abuse treatment at First Step was great. There were good mentors and great people in group. I like how open and honest everyone was. The group served as an eye-opener for me, and I learned that my problems were not as small as I thought they were, but they weren’t that much bigger either. Treatment changed me for the better and helped me to prioritize and refocus on the more important things in my life and how vulnerable we all really are.” RS



    National Day to Talk to Teen About Alcohol

    National Day to Talk to Teen About Alcohol

    April 21, 2014 is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about
    10 Ways to Happiness

    10 Ways to Happiness

    1. Exercise: 7 minutes is all you need, based on an article in the New York
  • My treatment has been beneficial for me at First Step. My DUI brought me to First Step and I had to look at the triggers that caused me to make the decisions. I realized through these sessions what my triggers are and how to deal with them.


    My experience at First Step was absolutely wonderful. I learned more about myself than I had my whole adult life. Our group counselor, Holly, did a fantastic job facilitating the meetings, and no matter what activity or discussion we had, I never left without feeling enlightened and fulfilled.


    I love First Step. I would definitely recommend it to a fellow addict in need. Also the family night portion was very helpful with me and my family. We learned how to have a healthier and happy relationship for all of us. Thank you First Step!


    When I first came in this group I felt like I didn’t really care, but when I came more, I became excited about this group.


    I’m not happy with the situation (that caused me to need treatment) but I’m glad it happened because I’m realizing early enough in my life that I need to be careful with my decisions and use my tools gained from group to keep my life on track.


    The counselors did an outstanding job of lesson planning and their work should be commended. I can now walk into the world with a greater purpose and I will continue to fight for the things that I believe in and will continue practice abstaining for all substances.


    I learned I have a lot to live for and that as long as I know right from wrong and learn from mistakes I can be successful. Thank you for helping me reaches my goal. A costly one that was worth it.


    I came into this program after getting in trouble at school. My first day of coming in I picked a nice seat in the corner, crossed my arms and tried to be invisible. I didn’t think this program would help me in any way, shape, or form. I just wanted to go through the motions […]

    Anonymous Former Adolescent Program Patient

    I have been directly affected in more ways than I am able to explain. Thanks for the support, and I appreciate what each of you has done for me.


    I value my family, my friends, and the air I breathe. My treatment here at First Step has been that of support and caring. I am very grateful to all of my counselors here at First Step. KD


  • Read All Testimonials