Behavioral Health Center - First Step in Monroe, NC

Overall Rating

(4.6 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
1623 East Sunset Drive
Monroe NC 28112

Behavioral Health Center - First Step Philosophy

We believe addiction is a difficult condition for the mind and body, a challenge for anyone to overcome alone. At First Step, you are not alone. Together with a team of caring staff and a part of a connected system we address the mind and body on the road to recovery. We offer a variety of options to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing from substance use.

Areas of Specialization

  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
    Patients who undergo intensive outpatient treatment continue to live at home and sometimes go to school or work while participating in a highly structured treatment protocol that is focused on ending substance abuse. Programs vary in terms of how much treatment patients receive, how often and for how long. Some facilities design individualized intensive outpatient treatment programs.

  • Individualized Treatment
    Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.

Facility Highlights

Best Practice Models of Care

The Joint Commision Accredited

Licensed and Certified Addiction Specialists

Meet the Staff

William F Wright, MD

Medical Director

Photo of William F Wright, MD

Double Boarded in Addiction Psychiatry and General Psychiatry Editorial Review

Review by Contributors


First Step is a substance abuse treatment center in Monroe, N.C., and a member of the Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS). Also known as BHC (for Behavioral Health Care), First Step offers inpatient withdrawal management, intensive outpatient programming, outpatient counseling, medication assisted treatment, DWI Assessments, and Education for adults with mental health and addiction disorders. Individualized treatment plans promote comprehensive wellness. Medical detoxification is available on site at First Step. Separate treatment programs for children and adolescents are also available through CHS.


One key foundational element in First Step treatment is education. Staff members work with patients to develop treatment plans that will help them understand their addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Clients may begin treatment with medically supervised detoxification services and then continue in residential or intensive outpatient programs. Both programs at the aptly named First Step facility are built on a 12-step recovery philosophy and emphasize the importance of support networks. Therapies incorporated in individual treatment plans include psychiatric support for patients who have received a dual diagnosis, practices to support mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, and activities to develop skills and tools for managing healthy lifestyles.

The intensive outpatient program involves a minimum of three days or evenings per week. In addition to 12-step practices, clients may participate in group sessions, relapse prevention planning, individual counseling, and maintenance programs for opiate addictions. Aftercare is also available for clients and their families.


Staff members include master’s level mental health professionals and registered nurses, according to the facility’s website.


There is currently no detailed information provided by the facility regarding its inpatient living arrangements and related offerings. However, received four responses to surveys with an average rating of 4.75 stars out of five for metrics measuring accommodations, meals and nutrition, and facility cleanliness and maintenance. Flexibility and options for activities and diverse treatments received generally more critical or more polar reviews, with some of these metrics averaging closer to 3.75 or split between five-star and one-star ratings.


Three alumni responded to surveys from; two received First Step treatment in the mid-1990s and one in 2016. While all three indicated that they would recommend the program, specific ratings were mixed. Two agreed that it was worth the cost and one did not. Metrics measuring staff support and training received all five-star ratings. However, counselor availability received fives and a one.

Eleven CiteHealth reviews[1] accessible at the time of this writing are even more polarized regarding staff and treatment effectiveness, split with about one-third high marks and two-thirds low. Anonymous comments in one review are typical of the positive statements: “This is a good facility that stands about from the other in the area. The teach you how to quit drinking and rebuild your life. 4 years sober.”[2] A common criticism is reflected in two additional anonymous reviews. One wrote: “less than competent staff. Mis-managed,”[3] and another: “treatment program was disorganized.“[4] Some of the reviews counted appear to be redundant, but the overall trends in opinion hold.


One staff member wrote to, giving five out of five stars for the program’s honesty, staff experience, and willingness to put patients’ interests first. H.T. commented on the program’s weaknesses related to high costs, however they also underscored the higher quality of treatment provided.


BHC does not accept Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare. They offer several self-pay options.

Updated January 2017

Published on March 2017

User Reviews

Review this Center

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
bed side manner were fine, good food but not enough. Great place that helped me immensely.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Individual counseling was great.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Not a bad choice for rehab but lacks in a comprehensive on-going plan after IOP. In patient needs to be longer before IOP starts.

Strong, patient/client-centered program, highest ethical standards. CARF accredited. Multiple locations in Raleigh, Durham, Garner & Cary NC

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Great facility, but needs improved holistic offerings.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
An overall great program.

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