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    Intensive Outpatient Treatment in North Carolina

    intensive outpatient program

    Intensive Outpatient Program, “IOP”

    First Step NC is a trusted rehab center and after-care provider in the Triangle region of NC. We provide Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) at all our locations.  IOP, by definition, is an outpatient counseling group that meets for 3 hours, no less than 3 times per week. The typical duration of IOP is 12 – 15 weeks if attending 3 times per week. The next step is continuing care or aftercare to help the participant remain focused on recovery during life changes of early recovery.  Intensive Outpatient Program groups are typically small with no more than 6 – 8 participants per counselor.

    We stress abstinence from mind and mood-altering substances during the course of treatment. Building a strong support network through attendance and participation in outside self-help groups increases the likelihood or achieving treatment goals. 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 addiction, honest self-disclosure, client-driven feedback, and “telling on the disease” of addiction. IOP programs typically begin with 3 groups weekly the first few weeks.

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    My first time in IOP, I was angry, scared, ashamed, tearful, and couldn’t see hope. I met my counselor and the group members and over the sessions, I started to change. I initially was having difficulty expressing my feelings. through group, I have learned it is okay to feel my feelings. Group therapy has been very eye-opening for me. My life has improved as a direct result of this IOP. I learned it’s good to get help. I needed help, and I surrendered to my addiction. The counselors are caring and do a great job keeping the group focused. I appreciate everyone at First Step. Treatment has changed me because I can love myself again. I no longer feel tremendous shame and guilt. I am living in the present and truly enjoying my sober life. –Anonymous

    Rather than sticking to a strictly didactic formula, our rehab centers across NC 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 a free program that meets each Tuesday from 6-7:30 pm for family members/loved ones/members of the community.  This is the F.A.C.E. Program (Family And Community Education).

    Family involvement greatly improves rates of success for substance abusers. We feature Family Night, held each month during IOP time at no extra cost.  On Family Night, clients attend a special multi-family session with their loved ones.  Our family program is facilitated by experienced Masters Level therapists.  We encourage our clients to consider family therapy sessions as a supplement to their treatment.  Family therapy sessions can further educate family members and help facilitate open communication to begin healing the family system.

    When requested by clients, we are happy to update concerned others (employers, family, etc.) by phone, fax, e-mail, or mail on the patient’s progress as needed.  We require a signed “authorization to release information” so that we can share this information. Otherwise, we cannot acknowledge you have ever been to First Step.

    What comes after IOP? All clients who successfully completes group counseling are welcome to continue alumni aftercare  for as long as he or she would like to attend for $5 per day. Some participants choose to “step down” to attending our long term structured Aftercare group one evening per week. Others attend individual counseling at First Step to help with maintaining the benefits gained in the program. Our goal is to help program participants maintain the gains earned during the course of treatment. Research proves that the longer one remains in treatment the higher the chances are for maintaining long term sobriety.

    “My first initial impressions were good I honestly was nervous, just because everyone else seemed to know each other. After a few sessions I felt that those strangers were my family and I couldn’t wait to see them the days of our meeting. I learned that alcohol is a really major issue and that more should be done to help those who are addicted. I feel like those dealing with the addition do not have the same resources as others who may have something else. I also learned what it meant to be a “sponsor” and now I want to become one to help others out. I was also educated on many preventive measures and how alcohol addiction is very serious in my community here in Durham. All in all I’m thankful for my new family I met here and the counselor’s for all their support.” Anonymous

    Women’s Program, Men’s Program

    As a comprehensive drug and alcohol rehab center, First Step NC provides gender specific treatment to address a number of gender specific experiences and issues. Our men’s and women’s groups are typically small groups with specialized discussions appropriate for each group. This group is part of our IOP program, but accepts women and men who are not IOP patients. Standard fees and enrollment apply. Bill Ingraham, CSAC leads our Men’s Group. Stefanie Borrelli, MSW, LCSW-A, LCAS-A leads our Women’s Group.

    Our Women’s and Men’s groups meet Monday evenings 6:00 – 9:00 PM at our Six Forks Road Raleigh location.

    Professionals Program

    First Step’s Professionals Program is confidential and private. We provide both primary care in outpatient and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for professionals. Upon completion of primary outpatient care, we provide a 1-year relapse prevention after care program. The Professionals Program aftercare groups are 90 minutes and meet on Monday evenings. We provide monitoring and reporting to Boards, jobs, or others as needed when requested in writing by the Professionals Group participants. If not requested by the client, in writing, confidentiality is strictly protected and no one is allowed access to treatment participation.  Without written permission by the client, “we can’t confirm or deny” that the client has ever been to First Step.

    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. With a comprehensive range of treatments and services, we aim to be the community’s first choice in drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Raleigh and throughout NC. We provide intensive group counseling, family counseling, individual counseling and other services as needed. The goal is to provide people discharging  from facilities with continued treatment and recovery while they transition back into community living; returning to work, to families and resuming a “normal” lifestyle after completing inpatient or hospitalization.  We provide this service at all our locations. We can begin meeting with you by video conferencing before you leave your inpatient facility to ease the transition, if you would find it helpful.

    What about going to a detox or inpatient substance abuse treatment  program?  After completing “detox” and/or an inpatient treatment program from alcohol or drug abuse, the chances of lasting abstinence and recovery are greatly improved by completing an  intensive outpatient for 3 or more months. Most hospitals and residential treatment centers strongly recommend an intensive outpatient aftercare program.

    “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

    How do I get started? Our groups are “open” which means you may start at almost any time.  IOP recommended capacity is 12 clients per counselor. To get started, call First Step  today and schedule an intake and orientation appointment. You may able to begin counseling the same day as your initial phone call. First Step is able to see clients within 24 hours and you can start at the next scheduled group if you choose.

    Request a Confidential Appointment

    IOP is available at all our locations. Weekly aftercare options are available that include 3-hour or 1-1/2 hour groups. The likelihood of long term success is excellent people who follow their treatment plan and complete IOP with aftercare.


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    “I think my treatment at First step has been very helpful. When I first started attending group, I was very anxious and nervous. My counselors Mrs. Phyllis and Mrs. Cynthia have been very kind and concerned about my well-being. I have learned to calm my nerves in the last few months through mind over matter.

    Anonymous Raleigh

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