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#EthicsDailyLocal: The Next Door

The Next Door (TND) provides a continuum of evidence-based services for women and their families struggling with addiction, mental illness, trauma and incarceration with Christ-centered compassionate care.

The continuum, which includes medically monitored detox, residential and outpatient programs, partial hospitalization and alumnae services, addresses the mental, physical and spiritual needs of women in substance-abuse crisis.

The agency’s unique combination of faith-based compassionate care and best clinical practices are guided by six core values, which are wholeness, hope, community, respect, encouragement and faith.

Linda Leathers has served as CEO since TND was founded in 2003.

Leathers has a bachelor’s degree in management and public relations from the University of North Alabama and a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Prior to 2003, Leathers served for 10 years as minister to single adults in Southern Baptist churches in Texas, Florida and Tennessee.

1. How did your organization become involved in this work?

The Next Door began in 2003 as a re-entry program for women coming from incarceration.

As the agency matured, staff began to realize, and the women themselves told us, that substance addiction was the real issue that led to most prison sentences and what the agency should address.

Today, The Next Door offers a full continuum of evidence-based treatment services for women struggling with addiction, mental illness, trauma and incarceration with Christ-centered compassionate care.

2. Why is this issue / initiative / ministry important to you and your organization?

Addiction, specifically substance addiction, robs families and communities of those who hold it together – mothers, grandmothers, teachers, professionals, sisters, neighbors, colleagues and friends.

Alcohol and drug abuse, and right now opioid abuse, knows no socioeconomic boundaries. The state of Tennessee ranks second in the nation for opioid prescriptions and deaths, but The Next Door believes there is hope for every woman.

With a complete continuum of treatment programs, designed specifically for women, recovery is possible.

3. What are a few lessons you’ve learned through your involvement?

The Next Door has provided addiction treatment since 2014. The agency continues to grow and adapt in order to provide the best services to every woman who needs treatment.

In the last few years, we’ve learned the more treatment opportunities a woman has, the greater her chances will be for a successful recovery. This led us to expand and grow alumnae services across the county.

We’ve also learned how important it is to provide love, support and treatment to pregnant women. Our medically monitored detox program is one of the few in the region that allows pregnant women to detox during pregnancy. TND continues to evolve, providing support, love and treatment for all women.

4. How can people learn more about and support what you’re doing?

The Next Door’s website – TheNextDoor.org – provides great information about programs and details about volunteering or donating.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions. For a tour and to learn firsthand about addiction treatment, tea at TND is scheduled monthly with dates on the website.

5. Why is it important to support initiatives that promote social justice and care for the “least of these” in our local communities?

Substance addiction affects not only the user, but also family members, communities, friends and work places.

Government and health studies show that approximately 8 percent of adults suffer from alcohol use disorder. More than 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction, excluding tobacco.

Over 18 percent of the adult population (over 18 years of age) will have a mental health struggle every year. These challenges cross every state and all demographic and socioeconomic lines.

The Next Door believes every woman, regardless of her circumstances or ability to pay, should have access to treatment and the best chance for recovery and a life of wholeness and hope.