Our History

Serving our community since 1970

Celebrating 50 Years as a Trusted Leader in Behavioral Health Services

In May of 1970, the seed was planted, and the foundation for five decades of quality, compassionate care was established.

Journey through SouthLight’s history in this short slide show!

Originally founded in 1970 as Drug Action of Wake County, SouthLight’s doors first opened as a 24-hour crisis center where we provided substance abuse services from a rented house in Boylan Heights near downtown Raleigh. Led by a small group of volunteers – local physicians, psychiatrists, and clergy, Drug Action of Wake County offered hope and opportunity to heroin users and troubled teens.

In its early days, SouthLight volunteers worked around the clock to serve walk-in clients, field telephone questions regarding addiction and make house calls to those in need. Each volunteer was trained by two of the founding members, Dr. Harold Glascock and Dr. James Carter.

What started as a grassroots effort is now one of the oldest and largest providers of both substance use and behavioral health services in the Triangle. 

Thus, the seed was planted, and the foundation for five decades of quality, professional care was established.

Name Change in 1993

After more than 20 years as Drug Action, leadership believed the name to be ‘dated’ as the new behavioral care philosophy emerged. In 1993, the name of the organization was changed to SouthLight, Inc. With another 20 years of growth and expansion, SouthLight, Inc. became SouthLight Healthcare to more effectively identify our services in the community, and with potential funders, as a full-service integrated healthcare provider.

Our Logo History

Since its humble beginnings, SouthLight’s mission and vision have evolved over the last fifty years to provide innovative care for individuals and families struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.

Today, SouthLight has eight office locations throughout the Triangle area, offering unique care services including, but not limited to, adolescent and family services, court services, peer support services, and residential services for women and children.​

SouthLight operates on the belief that long-term and sustained recovery requires access to not only a full spectrum of health services, but also to basic needs such as housing, job training, and placement, among others. We remain dedicated to providing the best possible care for our clients no matter where they are on their journeys.

30 years with SouthLight

“One thing that hasn’t changed is that this agency has always been focused on client needs.” – Dr. James Groce, MD

Executive Director’s History

Executive Directors

Approximate Appointments

Name of Organization

Bob Gregory 1970 Drug Action of Wake County
Mike Peratta 1973 Drug Action, Inc.
Becky Brownlee 1976-1990 Drug Action, Inc.
Tim Slaven 1990-1995 Drug Action, Inc.; SouthLight Inc.
Franklin Ingram 1996-2006 SouthLight Inc.
Tad Clodfelter 2006-2019 SouthLight Inc.; SouthLight Healthcare
Adam Hartzell 2019-Present SouthLight Healthcare

“We need to grow and increase our capacity to help people who need treatment if we are to make headway for this disease and continue to thrive in the future.”

Franklin W. Ingram, executive director
(from a 1998 annual report)