GAINING GROUND THEORY OF ADDICTION
 
Gaining Ground believes that addiction is related to a number of factors that are influenced by psychological, environmental and social factors.  Gaining Ground organization and director, Dale Ray Smith's philosophy is based on the theory that numerous internal and external factors may prompt addiction.
 I, Dale Ray grew up watching my step father and mother drink and fight every night. My step father would routinely beat my mother with an extension cord, how I remember.  Although this happened as a child, many years ago it is very vivid and traumatic including me being molested by a family member. At the age of 10 years old this lead to my drinking alcohol, in my  pre-teen years  I begin to sniff glue with my friends, take pills, join a gang and resorted to criminal behavior in and out of juvenile. 
After I became an adult, I moved to Hawaii and started a carpet business along with my brothers but it dissolved and I was blackball out of Hawaii due to my brothers stealing merchandise from the patrons.  I flew back home to San Francisco , California feeling like a failure and began using crack for over 20years, I was homeless for  11years and was in and out of  prison for felony convictions.
During my time of addiction I was shot in my chest with a 38 pistol for taking a crack bag from a drug dealer & hospitalized for 4 months, still I did not learn evading the police, I slipped and fell out of a 4th story window and broke my ankle in 3 places.  I’ve lost over 20 relatives since 1980 who died due to drug and alcohol abuse including my mother, step father and in 2009 my daughter.  During my addiction, I was ashamed and lost,  “Drugs are powerful, cunning and baffling”, and it stripped me of everything, integrity, morals and my family. My life was like a hamster on a treadmill everyday feeding my addiction.  
 
Many days I contemplated suicide but I could never get the nerve to follow through with it.
 
I contribute several factors that lead to me getting clean and sober and staying in recovery, I’ve have been clean   now since 2001. Through encouragement from friends, family even strangers most important it was through a higher power and I was tired of being tired and I did not want to leave a legacy that I died due to drugs and alcohol. 
For myself, going to recovery meetings, listening very intensely to others on how they maintain sobriety, mentors and self-determination along with playing the role in my mind how drugs had devastated my life.
 
At Gaining Ground we believe that many factors play a role in a person’s drug/alcohol addiction. We believe that the motivating deterrent for many recovering addicts is they don’t like to focus on the past but prefer to focus on a positive path for their future.  Our organization feels that it is important to look back or even play the role in our minds of what we had to go through to get to where we are today and once we look back at the pain and misery that the addiction has caused us we should never want to go back. 
 
Our organization is to help individuals start a new journey through assessment because we know that no single treatment works for everyone. Our effective treatment attends to multiple needs and not just the drug /alcohol abuse.  Gaining Ground believes staying in treatment is critical; we have professionals on hand for individual /group meetings and behavior modification. We also help the clients to engage in the treatment process of modifying their attitude and behavior in relations to drug abuse and increase healthy life skills. 

DEDICATION AND TRIBUTE

Sergeant Matthew Douglas Goodin

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