Our Counseling Services
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.
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.
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.
Substance Abuse Counseling Groups: First Step offers several outpatient treatment group options ranging from short term 20-30 hours, longer term 40-89 hours, IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), and aftercare.
Week Day Programs at our Raleigh & Durham Facilities: First Step offers morning substance abuse treatment programs for most levels of care, including general outpatient treatment & Intensive Outpatient Treatment. These are currently offered at our Raleigh & Durham Facilites Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings for 3 hours. Please call us for more information: (919) 419-0229 for our Durham program & (919) 833-8899 for Raleigh or email 1ststep@firststepnc.(dot)com.
Every client who successfully completes any level of counseling groups, and is remaining abstinent, is welcome to continue aftercare for $5 per session for as long as he or she would like to attend. This aftercare program provides extra support during early recovery.
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 $5 per session for as long as he or she would like to attend. This aftercare program provides extra support during early recovery.
Adolescent Counseling: Provided at our Cary location. Adolescent counseling at First Step includes group therapy, individual counseling, family counseling and education. Our Cary location also provides ACE services for Wake County Public Schools clients and families.
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.
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.
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.
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.