About The Next Step

One of three programs of The Foundation for Contemporary Mental Health (FCMH), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The Next Step is a private, abstinence-based intensive outpatient drug treatment program that was established in 1985 in response to the District of Columbia’s growing drug problem. The Next Step recognizes that alcohol and drug addiction is a progressive medical illness that negatively impacts all sectors of society regardless of age, education, race/ethnicity, gender, occupation, or socio-economic status.

Typically, The Next Step patient is an adult, 21 years or older, with a progressive history of chemical dependency disease. His/her primary drug of choice is marijuana, cocaine, heroin, PCP, and/or alcohol. Many have already had some exposure to the judicial system ranging from arrests/convictions for driving under the influence to incarceration. They have recognized the destruction to their lives brought on by their drug/alcohol abuse and/or dependence. They want to change their circumstances but need the kind of help and structure that The Next Step program offers in order to attain sobriety and sustain their recovery.

The Next Step Program works with patients to facilitate the establishment of a chemical free lifestyle. Underlying our treatment philosophy and service delivery is our commitment to the provision of:

  • A person centered approach to treatment, recognizing that drug users are not all the same.
  • Well-researched treatment interventions.
  • A therapeutic environment that is safe, respectful, motivational, and empathetic in a way that provides the best climate for recovery.
  • Treatment that is relevant to the culture and demographics of the patients served.
  • A highly skilled, licensed, multi-disciplinary treatment team of professionals .
  • Links to outside community recovery resources, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous, NA (Narcotics Anonymous).


Local License/Certification – Addiction, Prevention, & Recovery Administration (APRA)

Howard A Hoffman, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., President and Medical Director

Audrey F. Cannamela, Executive Director

Leon A. Edmunds, MSW, CACII, Program Director

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