About Us

Mother and daughter look for addiction treatment services.

Our Story

Northbound was initially founded in 1988 under the name National Therapeutic Services (NTS). In 2008, Paul Alexander acquired the organization and grew it from a local Orange County facility into a nationally recognized treatment provider.
Just two years later, NTS hired Michael Neatherton, former President of the Betty Ford Center as the new Chief Executive Officer. Along with senior management, Neatherton began to rebrand NTS as a company that emphasized organizational health through top-down transparency, authenticity, and honesty. This creates a company culture that reflects the same values we instill upon our clients during treatment.
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.

Our Philosophy

Addiction is not a moral failing or lack of willpower. It is a primary, progressive, chronic and potentially fatal disease centered in the brain. Oftentimes it is impacted by co-occurring mental health conditions as well as environmental factors. Addiction is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break without professional treatment. The staff at Northbound are experts in interrupting this cycle.
Northbound believes in recovery. We believe in transparency and honesty; and we believe that through our proven continuum of care, clients can be successful in overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety. Treatment encompasses biological, social, spiritual and psychological interventions that align with client needs as they progress through each phase of treatment.
Our treatment programs are rooted in evidence-based therapies, our innovative In Vivo® model of care, and the principles of the 12 Steps. Our clients engage in gender-specific, holistic treatment and work closely with an interdisciplinary treatment team to customize their care and provide support along each step of the way.

Our Clinical Team

The staff at Northbound is a dynamic, passionate, highly trained team composed of the top individuals in their respective fields. Northbound maintains an impressive 1:1 staff-to-client ratio, one of the highest in the industry.

Licensure and Accreditation

Northbound is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations(JCAHO) and is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

Customizable Treatment Programs

Everyone’s experience with addiction is different. At Northbound, clients are able to find the path to recovery that works best for them. With a menu of options, treatment planning and program placement are flexible and adaptable to each individual’s needs and goals. Our clients will work with a case manager and therapist to monitor their progress and determine the next steps in their journey. Northbound recognizes that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction recovery, and clients are empowered to be an integral part of the decision making process.

Real World Opportunities

Northbound’s innovative In Vivo® (or “in life”) model of treatment centers around giving clients appropriate opportunities to experience the joys, challenges, stresses, and successes of “real life” while within our supportive treatment environment. Our clients gain more independence and are challenged to engage more fully in real life activities and pursuits as they progress through our program and grow in their recovery. They are gradually given opportunities to attend classes at local colleges or trade schools, re-enter the workforce, enjoy community events or concerts, and use cell phones and laptops. As individuals encounter challenges in daily life, they have the support and guidance of the Northbound staff and community to overcome these obstacles and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Through this model, our clients realize that they do have the strength and skills to make positive choices. This gradual independence helps to ease the transition back into society, builds self-efficacy and confidence, and enables clients to develop a fulfilling and lasting lifestyle of recovery.
Northbound meets clients where they are at in their recovery journey and empowers them to thrive. Living a life of sustained recovery is possible; Northbound can help you get there.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.