Father, son duo offer message of hope for those battling addiction

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Road to recovery STEVE KNIGHT/The Lufkin News

Road to recovery

Kahil Smith, pictured, and his father Dale Ray Smith present a motivational program for those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Kiwanis Park in Lufkin.

Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2012 1:15 am

By STEVE KNIGHT/The Lufkin News

“There is hope.”

That will be part of the message when a father and son come together at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the first pavilion at Kiwanis Park in Lufkin to present a motivational talk for those suffering with drug and alcohol addiction.

Dale Ray Smith and his son, Kahil Smith, have both been in and out of prison and have struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Dale Ray Smith, who was addicted to drugs for more than 20 years, became a certified chaplain and now speaks at youth rallies, juvenile detention centers, jails, community organizations and recovery programs.

Lufkin-resident Kahil Smith was addicted to alcohol for more than seven years and now mentors at-risk youth through the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council program.

Kahil Smith still finds himself in jail occasionally — this time on the other side of the bars, working with and counseling inmates.

“I don’t want (kids that I mentor) to end up where I was. I tell them, but I also show them. I actually show them where I’ve been. I was hopeless about 11 months ago,” Kahil Smith said. “I was just walking up and down the street. My drug of choice was alcohol. How did I get there? I got there by blaming other people. I was like that for seven or eight years. I was burglarizing buildings to support my alcohol habit.”

Sober for 11 months, Kahil Smith said he wants to share his story with others.

“I was nothing but a coward because every time something happened in life, I would run and drink alcohol. It wasn’t all right, though,” he said. “It became magnified, and the problems became bigger and bigger. One day I was looking out the window and I saw everyone else going to work. I said, ‘I want to be like that. I’m tired and I need some help, but I can’t do this by myself.’”

Dale Ray Smith’s book “From Hell and Back” will be available for purchase Saturday.

The event is free, but donations are accepted and snacks will be available.

For more information, call Kahil Smith at 240-2246 or visit his Facebook page.

Steve Knight’s email address is sknight@lufkindailynews.com.

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