After returning home from serving in Vietnam, Marine vet Michael Harden had to overcome another enemy: a cocaine addiction. Overcoming his dependency, Harden was inspired to help others do the same, and created No Longer Bound (NLB).
NLB has grown since its beginnings, evolving from a halfway house to a long-term men’s faith-based addiction treatment center. What started as a three-room facility in a Georgia house, now serves 40 men, with plans to increase services for up to 56 people.
The facility is located in Cumming, GA, and offers a 12-month treatment program for those dealing with addiction. Through its “Regeneration Program,” NLB incorporates a variety of treatment and education services, including counseling, therapy, and job-training.
“We don’t stop at the treatment,” said Graham Skinner, Clinical Outreach Coordinator for NLB. “We do a lot of vocational and job training.”
“We are teaching them job skills and overall life skills, too,” he added. “We really believe that it takes all of that. If you have an authentic connection with God, self, and others, sobriety is just a byproduct of that.”
“We want everyone sober, but we want more than that for a person, too.”
Skinner himself benefited from the facility, as he was once in treatment there. “It saved my life, and because of him having that calling, it saved thousands of others.,” he said.
“It took me losing everything and almost dying in a hotel room to realize that I had a big issue,” he added. “It’s changed my life. I’ve been there ever since. I will forever be in debt to that place.”
Now sober almost ten years, Skinner works with the men of the program. He says that the rising numbers of opioid addiction mean that there is plenty of need for places like NLB, but the extended length of their program is what sets them apart.
NLB offers men the opportunity to train and take part in three social enterprises of the nonprofit, including automotive care with Cars4Recovery, marketing and design work with NLB Studios, and furniture making with NLB Furniture.
Beyond the men in treatment, No Longer Bound also works with the families of those addicted. Family members are encouraged to go through group counseling, personal counseling, and attend family recovery classes.
“If there are family connections, then the person of concern has a much better chance of going into treatment, staying in treatment, and long-term recovery,” Skinner said. “The goal is for them to be aware of recovery for their loved one and to help them, too.”
To get into the program, men must be at least 18 years old. They go through a round of assessments to make sure the program is a good fit. “We want to make sure we can help you the best way we feel like you need some help,” Skinner said.
NLB is always looking for financial support, which can be done through their website at www.nolongerbound.com. Interested individuals can also support their service through the NLB studio, furniture store, car repair services, and thrift shop. To listen to the full episode of the show, click here.