• Every great journey begins with a First Step!
  • banner

    Intensive Outpatient Treatment

    Happy group participants

    Intensive Outpatient Program, “IOP”

    “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.” Anonymous

    First Step provides Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs at all our locations. The IOP programs typically have the client start for the first 2 months or so attending group every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night from 6-9 pm.  If it is more convenient for someone to attend day-time treatment, First Step in Raleigh and Durham offers morning IOP treatment groups on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. We stress total abstinence from all mind-altering substances during the course of treatment and building a strong support network through client attendance and participation in outside self-help groups. First Step’s IOP program relies mainly on the power of the group therapy modality and employs cognitive-behavioral and motivational enhancement therapeutic techniques. We stress the progressive nature of the disease of addiction, honest self-disclosure, client-driven feedback, and “telling on the disease” of addiction. Above all, we stress the recovery progression of sobriety.

    Rather than sticking to a strictly didactic formula, we employ creative experiential activities during group (River of Addiction, Trust Walk, art therapy exercises, small group interaction, brainstorming, etc.) to engage the client in a dynamic learning and support environment. At the heart of each three-hour group session is the process portion of the group. Here clients are encouraged to openly share in a safe environment about their recovery achievements and pitfalls. Client feedback, questions, and interaction with each other are just as important as timely clinical feedback given by the counselors. We have a strong family program and encourage our clients to take advantage of it.  At our Raleigh facility, we offer free educational sessions each Monday from 6-7:00 pm for family members/loved ones/members of the community.  This is the F.A.C.E. Program (Family And Community Education).

    “My first thoughts were that group wasn’t going to be beneficial to me, yet after time went on I started to open up… The coping mechanisms that I learned here, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” Anonymous

    We make it clear to clients that family involvement is not only a requirement of insurance companies but also greatly improves rates of success for substance abusers. We feature a Family Night, which is generally held each month during IOP time at no extra cost to the client.  (Please check with the facility for dates). Clients attend a special family IOP session with their loved ones.  Both facets of our family program are facilitated by Masters Level therapists with years of substance abuse counseling experience.  We encourage our clients to consider family therapy sessions with our trained counselors as a supplement to their treatment.  Family therapy sessions can further educate family members and help facilitate open communication and help minimize enabling, codependence, and dysfunction in the family system.

    First Step is in-network with Cigna Behavioral Health, Magellan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Behavioral Healthcare, Aetna, MedCost, Value Options, CompPsych, NC State Health Plan, Managed Health Network (Military Veterans) and other insurance companies. We do everything we can to get you authorized for all our outpatient services. When someone uses insurance, they typically only have to pay a co-pay for each service rendered (each individual group session, each individual session, each family therapy session, etc). We will be happy to update concerned others (employers, family, etc.) by phone, fax, e-mail, or mail on the patient’s progress on a monthly basis or more often if requested.  Of course, we need a signed “consent to release information” so that we can share this information. Otherwise, we cannot acknowledge you have ever been to First Step.

    “I was first brought to First Step because my lawyer told me it would help me with my court case to stay out of jail. The counselors have so helpful and loving. I’m only grateful for having this experience!!” Anonymous

    Your privacy and confidentiality is something we take very seriously. Finally, we offer a wide range of other treatment options here at First Step.  We cover the spectrum from 8 hours of education to 60 hours of intermediate/longer term-level substance abuse treatment, all the way to 90 or more hours of Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Treatment.  Occasionally we design a shorter than 90-hour intensive outpatient program for a client.  The 90-hour IOP is the highest level of care we offer, although longer stays in the IOP are possible and aftercare programs here can supplement an IOP or other treatment program. We do not offer residential or inpatient services, but have at our fingertips a lot of information about these services in the area and connections to these providers.  We even provide space to an AA meeting at our Raleigh office every Friday at noon. I hope this is helpful for you.

    What comes after IOP? Every client who successfully completes any level of counseling groups, 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. Some participants choose to “step down” to attending our Aftercare group one evening per week or attend individual counseling at First Step to help with maintaining the benefits gained in the program. Others participate in the 12-step programs such as AA or NA in addition to the Aftercare program. A few choose to attend other self-help groups such as Smart Recovery and some participate at a new level in their church or spiritual support groups. Our goal is to help program graduates maintain the gains earned during participation in our programs. Research and our experience proves that the longer a program participant remains in treatment and aftercare, the higher the chances are for maintaining sobriety.

    “The counselors did a great job. The one thing we talked about that stuck with me was to have a plan. I will definitely be using the recommend plan when I leave First Step Services.” Anonymous

    When and where do the groups meet? Groups meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:00 PM at each of our locations.  Our Durham and Raleigh locations have morning groups as well as evening.  Individual and family counseling sessions may be scheduled any time Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM to support outpatient clients and their families and friends.

    What about going to a detox or inpatient substance abuse treatment  program? Once a person completes detox and an inpatient treatment program from alcohol or drug abuse, the chances of ongoing abstinence or even recovery are greatly improved by following with intensive outpatient for 3 or more months. Most hospitals and residential treatment centers strongly recommend an intensive outpatient aftercare program.

    “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

    How do I get started? The groups are “open” which means you may start at almost any time. The IOP has a recommended capacity of 12-14 clients per counselor. When groups get larger, we have the staff and space to provide services to divide the groups into smaller numbers of clients. To get started, call First Step  today and schedule an intake and orientation appointment. You will be able to start within a day or two of the initial phone call. First Step is usually able to see clients  within 24 hours and you can start at the very next scheduled group if you choose.

    First Step Services, LLC, is a private agency with four locations: Raleigh, Garner, Durham and Cary, NC. All our facilities are NC Department of Health and Human Services licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities and all are CARF accredited. At these locations we offer a wide range of outpatient substance abuse treatment options for persons with substance use concerns. Additionally, we are licensed by the State of NC and NC DWI Services to provide all outpatient levels of DWI services and assessments. For many patients who are not quite at the point of needing inpatient or hospitalization, the treatment that might be appropriate is our intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program (IOP). This IOP of care is available at all our locations. This program lasts 3-5 months and weekly aftercare options are available that include 3-hour or 1 hour groups. The success rate for people who complete IOP and follow the treatment plan is very high.

    FREE ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE ASSESSMENTS:  If you might have a problem with alcohol or drugs and are at least 18 years of age you may receive an assessment at absolutely no charge. There is no obligation of any kind except to call us at 1-855-806-5512. To receive your free assessment, call our toll free number today:  1-855-806-5512.  Due to state DWI regulations, this does not apply for people needing assessments for DWI, or other DMV/DOT assessments.


    Cloud 9

    Cloud 9

    A newer trend drug is yet another synthetic drug called "Cloud 9." Cloud 9 falls
    Free Substance Abuse Assessments: 1-855-806-5512

    Free Substance Abuse Assessments: 1-855-806-5512

    Do you have a concern about your alcohol or drug use? Do you think you are
  • Client Experiences

    “Well I got run over by a car after passing out in the street. My parents had to release me form the hospital and drove me back to Raleigh. So I was pushed in the right direction so I thank God for that every day. I started treatment that Wednesday after taking the assessment on […]

    Read More Testimonials


  • Read All Testimonials