Treatment Center Setting
- Residential Neighborhood
- Beach Community
1st Step Behavioral Health Philosophy
1st Step Behavioral Health’s drug addiction treatment is committed to helping the individual, not just treating the addiction. Each person has their own story, their own unique history and experience with how and why addiction and mental health concerns became a problem. While various factors may play a common role in how addictive patterns effect behavior, it’s not realistic to expect there will be a singular method of treatment which will work for everyone.
At our alcohol and drug treatment center, programs and methods are customizable to suit the individual. Group, individual and family therapy and involvement will be a part of the care offered at 1st Step. However, none of our clients will be treated like a number in a group, and each will be given independent and thorough consults, assessments and feedback. What you can expect from 1st Step Behavioral Health is a highly personalized level of care which makes the distinction of having a significant and lasting impact in our client’s recovery.
Areas of Specialization
Addiction recovery does not end with discharge after completing a rehab program. Facilities that offer aftercare planning and/or support work with patients to ensure sustainable recovery by helping to plan and make arrangements for transitional or sober living, help with housing, vocational counseling, etc.
Research shows that the odds of successful, sustained recovery from addiction are far higher when family members and loved ones are involved in treatment. Drug and alcohol addiction often have genetic roots, whether related to substance abuse, mental illness or both. Family dynamics also play a role and, often, family members are the first to realize a loved one has developed an addiction. Also, it’s important for family members to understand and embrace the lifestyle changes that are required to sustain recovery.
Though not all rehab facilities offer “medical detoxification,” all people with an addiction to drugs or alcohol will experience intense physical and emotional changes and discomfort as their bodies react to withdrawal of the addictive substance. Many people use the term “detox” to refer to the period of time (ranging from a few days to a week) when the body is reacting to an addict’s decision to stop using.
Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.
We have been in and out of rehabs for 6 years, trying to help our daughter deal with this dreadful disease. Every time, we would come away frustrated over the lack of help she was getting. Constant relapses and close calls with death had our family so disheartened as to wondering if our daughter would ever recover. Until we found 1st Step. Not only is she thriving now, but our entire family was educated on the whole disease process of addiction and how important it is to give the right kind of support. The entire 1st Step staff have become like our adopted family. More importantly, they have become like our daughter’s 2nd family. I cannot say enough about the 1st Step model to recovery. Thank you for giving us hope and restoring our faith!
I rarely write this sort of thing, but if it will help just one person to choose 1st Step for themselves or a loved one, it will have served its purpose. From the first second I called, I felt more at ease than I ever had before. As a mother of an addict, the call is never easy and I had done it several times before. My son was in and out of several treatment facilities; 4 or 5 as I remember. None of them can compare to 1st Step and their incredible staff. Every one of them treated my son with the dignity and respect he needed to believe in himself. They genuinely cared about him and gave him the tools he needed to get and stay clean for over 8 months now. My son’s counselor Alexis even helped me to understand things differently than I had been. I would like to thank Naz, Alexis, Marty, Susi, everyone at 1st Step and most of all Gus. Without him, none of it would be possible. I now have my happy and healthy son back. God bless you all!
This is Maureen L, and I am just writing to let you know of how truly blessed I was to go through 1st Steps program. The staff at 1st Step has definitely saved and changed my life. Today I am truly grateful for having got the opportunity to go through First Steps program. I do not believe that I would have gotten the help that I needed if I were to have gone somewhere else. I am truly blessed to have the life I was given today due to First Step. I have an external amount of gratitude for the staff and clients as well. Christina was my clinician and I was truly blessed to have gotten her. I just want to give a huge thanks to all of the clinicians; Jill, Janice, Jen, Nancy, Alexis, Mike, and especially Christina. As well as the other staff members Gail, James, Naz, Amy, Suzy, Janea, Claudia, Shawn, Anette, Vandy, and all of the other techs and most importantly Gus. I greatly appreciate all of you from the bottom of my heart! Please stay in touch.
Meet the Staff
Augustine Crocco, LCSW
Gus formed 1st Step Behavioral Health on the concept of providing a full continuum of care. We pride ourselves on having achieved the goal of becoming one of the few accredited care facilities that determines their client’s discharge date based upon clinical assessment rather than financial resources. Our goals extend beyond the client’s enrollment in our program as we continue to provide support and encouragement well beyond discharge.
Naz Andekian Joined 1st Step in 2014 as Director of Program Development. After working 4 years as director of admissions in steps to recovery, Naz brought his expertise and knowledge to First Step Behavioral Health. Naz was a client in 2010 and says he knew this place had the ability to save and change many lives. “I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to work for the very place that saved my life, and now work with humility as part of a team that helps others to save their own on a daily basis.” Naz is convinced that he works for the best treatment center in the nation, and is proud to be part of such a caring team of individuals who always put the needs of our clients first.
Marge joined the 1st Step Behavioral Health family in 2005 as an administrative assistant and has since become the executive administrator. With a degree in science and as a Certified Medical Professional with over 25 years’ experience in the medical and administrative fields, Marge is a leader for the entire staff. She is chiefly responsible for all financial operations and her fiscal management and budgetary knowledge allows 1st Step to provide all clients the best possible care. In addition, Marge is a hands-on administrator, committed to her staff and an active member of the day-to-day operations.
Shawn Hunsberger LPN
Medical Support Supervisor
Shawn is a senior member of the staff and has been with 1st Step for over 10 years. Shawn came to 1st Step as a client in 2005 and started her journey of recovery. She knew that she was in a special place and wanted to be a part of helping others change their life just as she did. Over time, Shawn has become one of the pillars here. She quickly progressed in the company, starting as a Behavioral Health Tech and is now the Medical Staff Support Supervisor. Her continued education, passion and personal experience is what makes her such an integral part of 1st Step. Shawn is responsible for overseeing the nursing staff and meeting with every client to ensure they are receiving the help they need. Shawn not only takes care of our clients at 1st Step but also takes her care-taking skills home with her to look after her three dogs, two cats, and two ducks. Shawn will soon be a Registered Nurse as she finishes her schooling at the end of 2015.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT 1ST STEP BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
1st Step Behavioral Health, located in South Florida’s Pompano Beach, offers a full-continuum of substance abuse treatment services for adults, including individuals struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders. The facility offers inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization (PHP), outpatient treatment (OP), and intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). Additionally, sober living facilities are available as well as on-site detox.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
According to the facility’s website, individuals in need of medical assistance begin their treatment in the facility’s detox unit, which often uses medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. The average length of stay in the detox unit is between seven to 14 days. Once stabilized, clients typically move to inpatient treatment.
The facility’s website notes that each client’s treatment plan is highly individualized and based on a comprehensive nursing assessment and evaluation, medical history, physical assessment, and initial psychiatric evaluation.
The treatment program follows evidence- based and 12-Step program methods. A combination of individual therapy, group therapy, gender group therapy, family counseling, addiction education, life skills development, holistic therapy, and relapse prevention are all utilized..
The Partial Hospitalization Program offers similar treatment and support as the inpatient treatment, but on a lower level of intensity. Additional therapy may include ego-modifying therapy, experiential therapy, rational emotive therapy, role playing, and therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Outpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment offer additional levels of step-down treatment.
Sober living facilities are available for clients recovering from addiction and those living with dual diagnosis. These facilities are used in conjunction with partial hospitalization or outpatient treatment.
With a staff-to-client ratio of 1:1, the facility employs registered nurses and nurse practitioners, licensed professional counselors (LPC), certified alcohol and drug counselors (CADC), licensed mental health counselors (LMHC), and licensed social workers (LSW).
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The organization’s sober living facilities are available to all clients, including those enrolled in outpatient programs. Clients live in fully-furnished apartment-style accommodations equipped with semi-private bedrooms, small kitchens, and common areas. Amenities include an on-site swimming pool, outdoor seating areas, and gym access.
Patients participating in inpatient treatment can go to the gym five nights a week and have the option of chiropractic and massage therapy. The facility’s website indicates that transportation is available for 12-step meetings outside the facility, supervised grocery shopping, and for weekend fellowship activities.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
At the time of this writing there have been 36 alumni polled by Rehabs.com. Overall alumni gave the facility positive reviews. The alumni gave the facility 4.2 out of five stars for exercise & leisure options, 4.4 stars for staff experience/training, and 4.2 stars for family participation. The alumni also gave 3.6 stars for the facility’s holistic offerings, 3.8 stars for the facility’s cell phone and visitation policy, 4.3 stars for cleanliness, and 4.2 stars for affordability.
One alum, S.P., strongly agreed that the facility was adequately equipped and staffed to treat co-occurring mental health problems in addition to substance use disorders that the facility staff were experienced and well-trained; and that the alum would recommend this facility to a friend or loved one who was considering rehab. S.P. felt that a strength of the facility was its great counselors and that the facility did not have any weaknesses. The alum also added, “Only rehab I have been to but would recommend to anyone...some very caring people.”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
At the time of this writing there have been 17 friends and family members polled by Rehabs.com. Loved ones gave the facility positive reviews. The friends and family members gave the facility 4.6 out of five stars for exercise & leisure, 4.5 stars for accommodations & amenities, and 4.5 stars for counseling options.
The loved ones gave 4.6 stars for staff experience/training; 4.6 stars for affordability; and 4.7 stars for family participation. Loved one S.B. gave the facility a perfect rating across all metrics.
S.B. felt that a strength of the facility was its caring staff and that there were no weaknesses. S.B. added, “My daughter was in several and this is by far the best caring and effective facility.”
WHAT STAFF SAY
At the time of this writing there has been seven alumni polled by Rehabs.com. The alumni gave the facility positive reviews. The staff members gave the facility 4.3 stars for exercise and leisure, 4.1 stars for its cell phone and visitation policy, 4.5 stars for staff experience/training, and 3.8 stars for holistic offerings.
One staff member, S.F., strongly agreed that the facility was adequately equipped and staffed to treat co-occurring mental health problems in addition to substance use disorders; that the facility staff were experienced and well-trained; and that the facility strictly offered a faith-based program. S.F. felt that the staff members genuinely cared about clients but that the facility needed to improve its wheelchair access. She also added, “Our clients leave treatment with the knowledge that staff are here for them beyond the treatment experience.”
The facility accepts some private insurance plans and is in-network with Aetna and MHNet. The facility also offers a sliding scale fee, placing it among the 62 percent of Florida facilities that offer one.
Published on August 2017
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