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Prop 36 has been helping people enter treatment and improve—and even save—their own lives since July 2001. Since then, over 60,000 Californians have completed drug treatment and had a good chance at recovery.

These are the stories of some of those people. If you would like to include your story, let us know by clicking on the "Submit Your Story" link above.

Curtis E.

I can remember as a small child watching as the adults had fun, the laughter would fill the house. This is easy for me since we were poor and most of the time, things were glum. With the loud voices and smoke, the smell of alcohol was very strong. I quickly learned to associate the smell and sound of music with happiness. I learned that in my family this is what we did to have fun and celebrate. I would spend most of my life trapped in this childish understanding of reality.

Alcohol and drugs consumed my life. After 7 prison terms, loss of 2 children, 3 marriages, countless firings from jobs, gunshots, near death experiences, and stab wounds, respect for myself had come to an all time low. I felt that death would be a blessing to end my soul’s cold, empty and agonizing pain.

After my last arrest and facing 6 years in prison, I was given Prop. 36. This was the beginning of the rest of my life! I was given the chance to change my future. In treatment I learned to deal with my child abuse, both mental and physical, the loss of loved ones and the anger and self-destructive mentality that had caused me a lifetime of pain. Most of all I learned how to make good decisions and to care for others. I learned to help rather than hurt.

I, and my life, have changed so much! I have contacted my daughter whom I had not heard from in over 6 years. I have a new family that loves and respects me, a 14-year-old stepdaughter who goes to meetings with me and is proud to call me Dad. Wherever I go people walk up and start talking to me, when 8 months ago they would have run.

I thank God and Prop.36 for giving me a chance instead of throwing me away! Now I am a productive member of society. I have helped my daughter bring her grades up from C's and D's to all A's and 2 B's. I also secretary meetings, pickup other recovering addicts for meetings and do 12-step calls to help others who are still suffering.

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Oliver H.
Gary McNeil
Scott J.
Tammy B.
Peter K.
Cynthia M.
Marilyn L.
Garrett G.
Kenneth K.
Tony Jackson
Curtis E.
Stephanie O.
Jeff J.
Vicki Barry
Gina J.
Lori Haugen
Rene S.
Parry F.
Danielle M.
Alan G.
Preston D.
Shawna H.
Charles H.
Lou M.
Victor G.
Nathan M.
Maria A.
Marc L.
Meghan M.




Drug Policy Alliance · (916) 444-3751 · [email protected]
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