First at Blue Ridge, Inc.

First at Blue Ridge, Inc.


First at Blue Ridge, Inc. has treated individuals and communities with chronic substance abuse throughout North Carolina since 1991. From its five-story residential building in Ridgecrest, east of Asheville, the state-licensed nonprofit runs evidence-based treatment options of various lengths and intensity for men, women, and Veterans of service.

The facility does not indicate whether it offers medically managed detox services.


According to the facility’s website, First at Blue Ridge aims to instill “real world” responsibilities while addressing underlying issues of 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 they learn to 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. Short-term intensive residential treatment options of seven, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days are also available for women.

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.


Per 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 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.


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, they’d reenter treatment here.

The seven individuals who left reviews for the treatment center on Google at the time of this writing provided an average 3.3 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 42 people who left reviews on the center’s Facebook page, which it has the ability to manage, provided an average 4.4 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 lone loved one questioned by at the time of this writing provided positive feedback. They gave five out of five stars for treatment effectiveness, its treatment of co-occurring disorders., and when asked if they would recommend the treatment center.

“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.


Services provided by First at Blue Ridge, Inc.

Service Setting

  • Residential
  • Type of Care

  • Halfway House
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Treatment Approaches

  • Anger Management
  • Brief Intervention
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency Managementmotivational Incentives
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Martix Model
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Trauma-related Counseling
  • 12-step Facilitation
  • License/Certification/Accreditation

  • State Substance Abuse Agency
  • State Department Of Health
  • State Mental Health Department
  • Payment/Insurance/Funding Accepted

  • Payment Assistance
  • Genders Accepted

  • Male
  • Female
  • First at Blue Ridge, Inc. Reviews

  • 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.