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History of Northbound


Northbound has a long history of providing quality, comprehensive treatment for individuals seeking to recover from addiction. Our mission of assisting clients in celebrating one year of sobriety is fueled by our extended continuum of care, our comprehensive menu of signature services, a foundational 12-step philosophy, and an unwavering commitment to organizational health. Our clients engage in a fully integrated treatment program providing the level of support and care they need no matter where they are in their recovery journey.

Northbound was initially founded in 1988 under the name National Therapeutic Services (NTS). In 2008, Paul Alexander acquired the organization and began transitioning it from a local Orange County program to one that is recognized nationwide. NTS’s services began to grow and the culture was shifting in a positive direction that better supported both clients and staff in thriving in recovery.

National Therapeutic Services hired Michael Neatherton as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2010. Neatherton came to NTS from a successful career with the Betty Ford Center. Along with senior management, Neatherton began to rebrand NTS as a company that emphasized organizational health through top-down transparency, authenticity and honesty. They revised the mission, created a new vision, and set forth to embrace their goal of changing lives. As they discussed this new culture and motivation, there was a reference to the Northbound Train and the positive connotations of “heading north.” The organization’s new name, Northbound, emerged.

Although exceptional care was always a priority, under its new name, Northbound expanded and enhanced its services and mission. Every client is equipped with the tools and resources they need to achieve milestones in recovery. Northbound’s innovative In Vivo® (or “in life”) model of treatment empowers clients with appropriate opportunities to experience the joys, challenges, stresses, and successes of “real life” while within the supportive treatment environment. Through this model, clients realize that they do have the strength and skills necessary to make positive choices and foster lasting change. Gradual and intentional exposure to real life experiences eases the transition back into society, helps clients build self-efficacy and confidence, and enables clients to develop a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle of recovery. They are thus empowered to embody Northbound’s aforementioned mission of celebrating one year of continuous sobriety. With one year of sobriety under their belt, clients can continue moving forward with confidence in their new lifestyle of recovery.

One aspect that sets Northbound apart is its enduring commitment to organizational health. Many of Northbound’s staff members have managed recovery within their own families, be it for themselves or a loved one. In addition to providing top-notch care for clients, they must also be cognizant of their own well-being. Communication and engagement are key. Everyone is working toward the same goal of continued recovery, better health, and improved relationships.

At Northbound, recovery is possible. No matter where a client is at in their journey, they can find the support and guidance they need to turn their life around for the better. We walk beside our clients along each step of the way and empower them to make the most of their future.

Start Your Journey to Recovery with Northbound

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