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About Us

The Bridge was founded in 1974 in GadsdenAlabama as a Drug Alert Center. Ray Crowder, a local minister, volunteered his time to assist people with substance use disorders and to help combat the growing drug problem in northeast Alabama. Reverend Crowder's vision and tenacity were the primary ingredients in the early development of The Bridge. He enlisted the help of the Etowah Baptist Association and the Gadsden Kiwanis Club to place a hotline telephone in his home. The number of calls for help was both astounding and overwhelming. Rev. Crowder then contacted the Alabama Department of Mental Health regarding grant money to open a counseling center in Gadsden. He was successful in securing a grant to open The Bridge in July, 1974. It opened with three employees and served thirty-seven clients that first year.  

From those small beginnings, The Bridge has grown to be a leader in adolescent substance use treatment
. In the mid-1990s, The Bridge began working with the Alabama Department of Youth Services and expanding services to include behavioral rehabilitation. In addition, the organization began opening community-based outpatient programs to increase the number of teens and families receiving substance use treatment services.  

The Bridge extends thanks and gratitude to the many board members, staff members, and volunteers who have helped to grow and shape our organization through the years.

The mission of The Bridge is to provide treatment opportunities that inspire hope and
promote positive, lasting change.

The vision of The Bridge is to innovate, create, and improve access to treatment opportunities
for current and future generations.


The values of the Bridge are honor, excellence, and integrity. 




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