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First Step


Cockeysville MarylandFirst Step Review

First Step is a community counseling and resource facility located in Maryland. Substance abuse services are available at two facilities, one located in Cockeysville and the other in Reisterstown. First Step is certified by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Youth Service Bureau and the Office of Health Care Quality. First Step provides outpatient care for substance abuse and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) as well as programs for drivers. For over three decades, First Step has provided services for adults, adolescents and children with resources and solution-oriented treatment.

Treatment and Staff

Among the services offered, First Step provides a standard outpatient track, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and a DUI track for first-time offenders. Utilizing evidence-based practices, the clinical staff at First Step work with clients to facilitate healthy coping skills and to help alter negative self-image issues that come with prolonged substance use.

Prior to enrollment in a program, potential clients must first schedule an appointment for a screening with the intake staff. A bio-psycho-social assessment is taken to ensure the client is placed in the correct program and for any medication needs.

The outpatient track is an individualized treatment approach that combines group and individual therapy to facilitate a change in mild to moderate cases of substance use. Some groups are co-ed, though gender-specific groups are available as well to create a safe environment for trauma-focused topics. Clients may attend sessions once or twice per week and for as long as their treatment plan permits. Medication management is available for individuals who are in need of dual diagnosis support. Clients on medication see the staff Psychiatrist for monitoring and additional care.

If the client comes into treatment with a severe opiate addiction, treatment with Suboxone is available through an outpatient detox program. Clients receiving Suboxone treatment must be enrolled in the IOP track as the treatment staff believe that medication treats only the physical symptoms of withdrawal and that the mental and emotional aspects must be addressed through therapy and 12-step support. Suboxone clients are monitored closely during their induction phase and then shifted onto a maintenance phase.

The IOP track is designed for clients who need more monitoring and care and meets three times per week for three hours each day for a minimum of nine hours per week of treatment. For four to six weeks, clients attend group and individual therapy with a CADC. This program is only for adults over the age of 18 who display acute drug and alcohol dependence.

The program has both afternoon and evening hours available to accommodate work and school schedules. The IOP can be attended from 11 am to 2 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays or from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Clients who completes the IOP may wish to step down to standard outpatient. Otherwise, clients are required to attend 12-step meetings or other support groups that are recovery oriented.


The DUI program is designed for first-time offenders who may or may not have chemical dependency issues. Clients attend educational groups and individual sessions with their case manager to work towards getting their license reinstated. Clients are required to remain abstinent during the program and may be tested for substance use. Attendance of 12-step meetings is required to remain in compliance with the court system.

A family program is also available for the support of the family unit while their loved one is in treatment. Using the Family Disease Model, families attend groups to address enabling, unhealthy relationships, anger issues and how to properly support their family member. The program is psycho-educational and intended to assist with relapse prevention and crisis intervention.

In Summary

First Step provides outpatient treatment for individuals in need of standard outpatient, IOP, DUI or MAT. All programs are facilitated by mental health professionals who have experience with co-occurring disorders and the special needs of the families of addicts. First Step treats the whole person with a solid continuing care program to ensure stable footing for lasting recovery.         

First Step Location

First Step
10400 Ridgland Rd
Cockeysville MD 21030

100 Owings Crt, Ste 8
Reisterstown MD 21136

First Step Cost

$3,750 (30 days) or sliding scale. Reach First Step by phone at (410) 628-6120 or by email at [email protected]. Find First Step on Facebook

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Photo courtesy of Jill Meinert via Flickr [CC0 (] (resized and cropped)

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