Posted on April 30, 2014 by Henry Tarkington
First Step was created in by Henry Tarkington in 2001, in Garner, NC as a single-therapist practice with no real name on June 12, 2001. In April 2002, “1st Step Substance Abuse & DWI Services,” the company’s first name, became a fully licensed outpatient, intensive outpatient and DWI substance abuse treatment program. At the time, First Step was a part-time program, open only in the evenings and on weekends. Henry, the Owner, had a day job to pay the bills.
In October 2002, First Step opened our first Raleigh facility on Millbrook Road and quickly outgrew that space. In May 2003, the facility moved to Beechleaf Ct. By August 2003, First Step outgrew that location as well and opened at 211 E. Six Forks Road, Raleigh. The main office has remained at this location since that time. Our Raleigh Six Forks Road facility now occupies 7,000 sq.ft. in Building B at 211 E. Six Forks Road. 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 concerns.
On September 1, 2003 Henry quit his day job and dedicated his career full time to First Step with the goal of helping people end their problems with substance use. In 2004, Henry hired the first full time employees at First Step and the program has grown steadily since that time. On July 1, 2006 First Step absorbed another behavioral health company and added a Durham facility in addition to our existing Raleigh and Garner locations.
In 2006, First Step became an approved vendor by Wake County Public Schools to provide ACE counseling services to teens and their families involved in the school system. In 2006, First Step applied for, and received the highest level of licensure for outpatient Behavioral Health awarded by the NC DHHS. We received a SACOT or Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment Center License. We have an M.D. Medical Director and Psychiatrist.
In 2010, First Step completed the rigorous process of becoming fully accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, better known as CARF. For many programs, this is a required accreditation, allowing programs to receive State/County/LME and Medicaid funding. We do not receive these types of government funding, therefore Accreditation is not required for First Step. However, in our ever-present desire to provide only the highest quality substance abuse services, First Step completed the accreditation process. First Step Services, LLC was awarded the highest level of CARF Accreditation based on quality of services provided and who we are in the community. Since we do not accept typical government funding, we must earn our living by providing the best services possible to each individual who walks in our door. We do not cost taxpayers any money; in fact, we save taxpayers tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars annually.
In 2013, First Step expanded into Cary, NC providing substance abuse outpatient services to both adults and adolescents. Upon opening of the Cary facility, we moved our ACE program for teens and families to our new Cary facility. In November 2014, we began preparing our new Garner facility on Aversboro Rd. to replace our previous site on US 70E. In 2013, First Step began an Employee Ownership Program, awarding units of ownership to the most dedicated employees. It is Henry’s philosophy and plan to award the most dedicated, loyal and committed employees with a long term commitment from the Company.
Our counselors are among the best trained, most compassionate clinicians in the area. You can read about them on our Client Experiences page. These are unedited…every one we receive is included on the Client Experiences web page on this site. Our Therapists are a mix of Masters Level therapists with LCSW, LPC & LCAS credentials and Certified Substance Abuse Counselors. All our faciities are in network with most insurance companies that operate in the Triangle Region of North Carolina, saving our clients & patients money. Once a client completes any level of Substance Abuse Treatment, he/she is welcome to continue to attend aftercare for as long as one finds it beneficial.
In March of 2016 we had our third CARF survey. The outcome of the survey was very positive and a third 3-year accreditation was awarded. In the spring & summer of 2016, we have made numerous improvements to our Raleigh facility, including new windows, paint, and a general interior detailing.
We are all grateful to be fortunate enough to work with so many wonderful clients, patients, families, attorneys, schools, treatment centers, doctors, therapists, EAPs, corporations…I could go on & on. We thank you all!
Henry Tarkington, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Tags: addiction recovery, alcohol and drug counseling, Alcohol and Drug Counseling Groups, Alcohol Use Concerns, Chemical Dependence, DWI Assessment, First Step, First Step Services, LLC, Substance Abuse Assessment, Substance Abuse Treatment