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

    Our Counseling Services

    alcohol drug treatment

    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 Jessie and First Step Services. Anonymous

    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.

    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’ve learned a lot in this group and glad it was now and not later.” JT
    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.

    Day Programs at our Raleigh Facility: First Step offers morning substance abuse treatment programs for most levels of care, including general outpatient treatment, Intensive Outpatient Treatment and,  partial hospitalization. These are currently offered only at our Raleigh Facility. Please call us for more information. (919) 833-8899 or email 1ststep@firststepnc.com.

    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 learned that I have more to offer than I previously thought. Also that I can share comfortably in a group setting; in the end I enjoyed going to these meetings. JB

    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.

    Couples and Marital Counseling:

    Many couples struggle with communication problems, resentments, feeling trapped and other difficulties that come with long-term relationships. Many times couples need a sounding-board to begin working out problems. Other times they need more direct advice on handling situations. A counselor can provide the skills necessary in resolving these problems. This can usually be achieved in a few counseling sessions.

    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 very 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.

    The counselors and the group recognized I deal with a dual diagnosis and provided the support I need to recover. The genuine concern I received from the counselors and the group has helped me identify the issues and then work on overcoming them. As I continue healing by participating in group and seeing Holly for individual counseling. Anonymous

    Women’s Group, Men’s Group, Adolescent and Youth Group

    First Step provides gender and age specific treatment to address a number of experiences and issues to better assist specific groups of people.  Our gender and age specific groups are typically small groups with specialized topics appropriate for each group.

    Wake County Public Schools ACE Program:

    First Step works in conjunction with Wake County Public Schools to assist students who are in jeopardy of receiving long term suspensions due to alcohol or drug infractions.  Schools  require that a student receive a substance abuse assessment, family assessment, 2 urine drug screens and a minimum of 12 hours of substance abuse counseling and education. The sessions must include both the student and a parent.  The fee for the program is set by the Wake County School System. For information on the ACE and Public Schools program call our Cary office at (919) 651-8349

    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.

    Though WTC (Wilmington Treatment Center) 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

    Dr. Joshua Dittmer is Medical Director for First Step Services, LLC. Dr. Dittmer is an active contributor to the field of Psychiatry.  A graduate of Boston University, he is a board-certified physician who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Dr. Dittmer provides supervision to all our therapists and counselors to ensure each individual in our programs receive the highest quality clinical care. Dr. Dittmer 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 very closely with Dr. Dittmer to provide the best mental health counseling possible.

    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   1-855-806-5512.

    To receive your free assessment, call our toll free number:  1-855-806-5512. Due to state DWI regulations, this does not apply for people needing assessments for DWI, or other DMV/DOT assessments.


    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