First at Blue Ridge, Inc. in Ridgecrest, NC

Overall Rating

(4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
32 Knox Road
Ridgecrest NC 28770

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Review by Contributors


First at Blue Ridge, Inc. has treated individuals and communities with chronic substance abuse throughout North Carolina since 1991. From its five-story building in Ridgecrest, east of Asheville, the state-licensed nonprofit provides evidence-based residential treatment, both short and long term, for men and women. Blue Ridge also offers specialized programs for veterans and expecting mothers. It is part of the 5.3 percent of non-hospital North Carolina facilities to offer short-term residential care.


According to the facility's website, First at Blue Ridge aims to instill “real world” responsibilities while addressing underlying issues of substance abuse through one of its four different voluntary treatment programs.

Programming includes vocational training programs as well as 12-step, life skills, and addiction groups. The treatment center utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and other evidence-based therapies to help individuals develop a sense of self-respect.

Designed for individuals with court-ordered charges or those who cannot commit to a longer-stay, the Short Term Program at FIRST offers clinical assessments, educational groups and seminars, and transportation to 12-step and other support groups throughout the community. Throughout their stay of 30 days (or longer), clients are expected to participate in all aspects of Phase One.

Upon completion of this initial treatment phase, clients enrolled in the Long Term Program begin to grow their set of work skills under a program-contracted job. At 10 months in, having earned their way through treatment, clients may apply for “re-entry”, allowing them to move back into the community for work. Successful program graduates may progress towards transitional housing for up to an entire year, enabling them to further solidify their gains made in treatment.

Despite its name Women and Children FIRST, the facility runs a supportive, communal environment for women with children as well as pregnant and non-pregnant women with past issues of incarceration and/or domestic violence. Intensive residential treatment options lasting seven, 14, 30, 60, or 90 days are available for women. In North Carolina, the facility is among the 3.8 percent of facilities to accommodate clients' children.

Finally, the Vets FIRST program, funded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), guides Vets through 24 months of work placement, options to advance their education, and substance abuse treatment. After establishing themselves at work, Vets may transition into one of the nonprofit’s veteran cottages, a transitional housing program which costs an additional monthly fee.


According to the facility’s webpage, most FIRST staff members are either graduates of the program or former interns from local universities and colleges, and staff are on-site 24 hours per day, seven days per week.


The center's website indicates that at any given time, the facility’s five-story residential building can host up to 85 men, 65 women, 20 Veterans, and 25 transitional housing clients. Blue Ridge is among the 21.4 percent of North Carolina facilities to offer specialized programming for veterans.


The single alum surveyed by to date, a veteran, found treatment more difficult than they had anticipated. “Living with 35-45 women of all age groups is hard. We weren’t allowed to talk to the men,” C.A. explained. In face of these difficult realities, however, C.A. gave top marks for the respectful and well-trained staff and noted that, if needed, she would reenter treatment here. They also gave four out of five-star ratings for the effectiveness of lead counselors and group counseling sessions.

The 29 individuals who left reviews for the treatment center on Google at the time of this writing provided an average rating of 3.1 out of five stars.[1] "It helped me establish a recovery foundation and learn a new way to live," Christopher wrote in a representative reviews. The individuals who provided negative reviews indicated they weren't able to get in contact with the treatment center, or complained they spent all their time working.

To date, the 64 people who left reviews on the center's Facebook page, which it has the ability to manage, provided an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars. Many people credited the center with saving their lives. "I can honestly say that my life in recovery has taken off, and has never been better," Brian wrote in a representative review.[2]


The sole loved one who responded to the survey at the time of this writing, P.M.R., provided positive feedback. They gave five out of five stars for treatment effectiveness, its treatment of co-occurring disorders., and for the likelihood they would recommend the treatment center to others. “After 5 months, my son became a Pier Groups Leader. There were 6 of those. After 8 months, became a House Manager.” P.M.R. also described the no-frills facility as “clean,” adding, “they eat well and work everyday.”


According to the center's website, the nonprofit receives funding through its vocational training partners as well as support from grants and contracts through government offices. Clients accepted into the long-term program pay an initial fee upon admission, and sliding scale fees, payment plans, and scholarships are available for those in need.

[1] GoogleReviews

Published on November 2018

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Old and rundown but got the job done. Small staff and no tolerance for breaking rules. Will get you clean and sober if you are serious about it. Old and rundown and owner didnt really care about anything but the bottom line.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
The Addicts work. The facility works with the city, YMCA, local businesses. The patients are paid, but their money is held by the facility. The facility takes half, since it is free, the money allows them to stay open. The patients receive what's left at graduation. Typically it's used to pay for rent at halfway house. You can earn privileges and loose them. They have 2 houses, 1 for males and 1 for females. And 50 - 55 men. After 5 months, my son became a Pier Group Leader. There were 6 of those. After 8 months, became a House Manager. He also did admissions of new patients. It's not a fancy, well decorated, 5 course meal kind of rehab. It's clean, they eat well and work everyday Once you contact facility, you need to write a "paper", nothing fancy about why you need and want to go to this facility. Talk to councilors about where you want to be in a year. They helped !y son get his license back, and obtain his GED

  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
living with 35-45 women of all age groups is hard. We weren't allowed to talk to the men. Different age groups.

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