First Step Recovery of Fargo, North Dakota wants substance abusers to be far more than just abstinent—they want them to be “happy, comfortable, and productive living in [their]own skin without the use of alcohol or other drugs.” Therefore, the aim is to treat the whole person—from co-occurring disorders to sleep disorders to chronic pain. It believes addiction is a disease with a predictable course of development and treat clients to manage their addiction rather than cure it. It offers two different outpatient options—a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)—as well as a variety of other services to help with the recovery process.
First Step Recovery’s outpatient programs are evidence-based and focus on treating clients with respect, dignity and compassion. The total length of the programs varies depending on a client’s needs. Both provide the same services—one is just more time-intensive than the other. The PH requires a 20-hour commitment per week, while the IOP requires a nine-hour commitment.
The schedules vary, but both programs include individual therapy, group therapy, educational lectures, family therapy and appointments with one of their registered nurses for medical concerns as needed.
Educational lectures cover such topics as spirituality, guilt and shame, making amends, nutrition, sleep hygiene, anger management, the medical aspects of addiction and smoking cessation. Lectures may feature alumni, other sober individuals from the community, medical professionals or staff.
Family therapy includes two different options. One is to attend the family education and process group without loved ones on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm. This group may discuss codependent behaviors, detachment skills or addiction as a disease. The other option is to attend First Step Recovery’s lecture series with loved ones on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 pm.
Staff includes three registered nurses, a counselor with a Master’s in community counseling, a licensed addiction counselor/LPC, six licensed addiction counselors and an office manager.
Those who complete either of the outpatient programs can continue treatment with their continuing care/relapse prevention group, which meets once a week and lasts about two hours. Clients discuss daily struggles and recovery issues and also work to identify problem behaviors interfering with recovery.
Other services include assessments and evaluations (which involve interviews with a therapist and sometimes a referring clinician, who diagnose and offer recommendations as needed) and individual therapy for those in recovery or contemplating treatment.
First Step Recovery is a solid choice for treatment in the Fargo area (though, of course, North Dakota isn’t exactly renowned for its warm winter temps). With professional and experienced staff, a variety of programs, medical referrals and treatment and resources for continued care, it seems to cover all the bases of outpatient substance abuse treatment.
First Step Recovery
3201 Flechtener Dr
Fargo, ND 58103
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