First Step House Residential Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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First Step House Residential


Salt Lake City UtahFirst Step House Residential Review

First Step House is an all-male facility based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Treatment options include an outpatient facility, two residential treatment facilities and transitional living environments for individuals in need of sober living. First Step House was founded in 1958 by members of AA in the Salt Lake City area. The original residential building was a former church in disrepair that was donated by the owner who allowed the originators to live rent-free for six months if they agreed to remodel the space. Originally starting as a 12 room house, over time First Step House has grown to include two facilities; a 61-bed residence and a 32-bed facility dedicating services to veterans. Recent constructions on the new First Step House Recovery Campus will expand to include four additional dorm-style homes, a detox ward and more.

Accommodations and Food

Two residential facilities are available through First Step House. The Grant Street location is a 61-bed treatment facility accommodating clients in dormitory-style quarters. Each room typically houses three to four roommates, depending on enrollment. A fully equipped kitchen, a common room with TV, laundry facilities and an exercise room are available for client use. Meals are prepared by a staff who serve three meals a day with coffee and snacks available throughout. The grounds of the facility have an outdoor play space for children and family visitation.

The South 500 East location was opened at the beginning of 2016 after phase one of new renovations. The facility is dedicated to housing and treating veterans with 32 beds available. This second phase of renovation scheduled in the near future will add on a medical care facility, vocational training center and a transitional living section for individuals preparing to phase out of primary treatment. This facility accommodates four roommates per room in eight rooms with bathrooms shared on each wing. A computer lab, common room, kitchen and dining area are available for communal use. Group sessions are hosted on-site so that clients do not have to travel for treatment. An outdoor exercise area is also arranged on the grounds.

Treatment and Staff

The residential treatment process at First Step House is designed to fully alter the life of the client. The mind, body and spirit of each resident is treated to support long-term recovery. Before enrollment, clients must qualify for treatment through a bio-psycho-social assessment. Clients are also drug tested at this time to determine if they require detox prior to beginning the program. Throughout treatment, clients are drug tested at random to ensure they are remaining abstinent. Residential treatment is reserved for individuals who display the need for 24-hour monitoring and intensive care, but First Step House is not a lock-down facility.

First Step House specializes in providing services for individuals requiring dual diagnosis support. Treatment for veterans also includes support for PTSD and other mood disorders. Medication management as well as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) are available on a case-by-case basis for individuals with co-occurring disorders or those who would benefit from Suboxone treatment. Clients are monitored consistently to ensure their medication is appropriately supporting their recovery and mental health. Additionally, all clients are treated for medical and dental concerns in an effort to encourage total wellness.

Each client meets with their primary counselor to develop an individualized treatment plan. There is no standard length of treatment for residential clients and they are invited to remain in treatment until ready for transition as determined by their therapist and treatment team.

Group therapy and educational classes are attended on a daily basis. The weekends, afternoon and evening hours are typically reserved for case management sessions and individual therapy with primary therapists. Between meals and therapy, clients attend financial and vocational counseling sessions, go on job searches, attend school or participate in service work. Attendance of 12-step meetings is required. All residents must respect the rules of the facility, respect the other clients and perform chores to maintain the overall upkeep of the facility.

The primary treatment modality at First Step House is Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) but other modalities are employed including DBT and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT). Motivational Interviewing (MI) is also employed to help clients cope with the drastic changes often encountered during treatment. Clients work through several internal tracks including a grief and loss focused track, shame resiliency track and relapse prevention.

All therapeutic activities are facilitated by a team of licensed and certified mental health professionals. Many therapists are Master’s-level practitioners with credentials including LPCs, CADCs and LCSWs. A nursing staff is also available to monitor clients in the initial phases of treatment and those on medication. A staff Psychiatrist is available for more intensive assessments and to monitor medication, especially for clients on opiate-replacement therapies. All staff use evidence-based practices to assist clients towards their recovery goals.


First Step House is also dedicated to facilitating education and employment for clients. The facility partners with the Department of Workforce Services and Vocational Rehabilitation in the Salt Lake City area. The Horizonte Instructional Training Center also works with First Step House to provide high school graduation and GED education for clients who have yet to complete their studies.

A family program is also in place to assist family members who are encouraged to attend a family group once per week to work through any damage accrued during the active addiction process. Additionally, families come together monthly to attend educational courses that focus on learning the basics of addiction and how to heal the family unit and support their loved one.

In Summary

The residential program at First Step House provides safe and sober environments where clients can receive assistance and recovery in a supportive community of fellows. In addition to mental health, clients are treated for physical health concerns with a particular focus on the special needs of veterans and those with co-occurring disorders. The treatment team and staff at First Step House accomplishes this task by encouraging each individual to alter their life-path and by treating them as individuals. The continuum of substance abuse care at First Step House gives clients access to detox, residential treatment, outpatient programs and sober living facilities, creating a comprehensive program ideal for those serious about their recovery.

First Step House Locations

411 North Grant St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

440 South 500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

First Step House Cost

Sliding scale. Reach First Step House by phone at (801) 359-8862. Find First Step House on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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Photo courtesy of By Garrett from Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City, July 2011) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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