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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.



Hi, my name is Rudy. I'm an alcoholic-addict, and Prop 36 saved my life. I started drinking when I was ten. By the time I was thirteen, I was an alcoholic. Drinking was all I did. I was skipping school and in a street gang. I went to three days of school a year, maybe. The rest of the time I was drinking, stealing and burglarizing--and ending up in juvenile hall. I was arrested almost once a week in those days, usually for fighting or stealing.

My friend introduced me to herion when I was twenty, right before he died of an overdose. But I liked the high so much that I kept on using anyway. I went through jobs, families, prisons--and I just kept using.

When I was in my fourties, I was totally out of control. I didn't care about nothing or no one--not even myself. Then I was offered Prop 36. I didn't know anything about it, but I took it. At first they wanted to send me to outpatient, but I told them I didn't have nothing, I was homeless and I'd rather stay in jail. I was used to that. But they sent me to Casa Raphael/Alpha Project in Vista instead. I got into the program, I stayed and I graduated. Now I sponsor other guys.

Instead of being in jail, on the street, or, worse, dead, I spent this Christmas sober and with family and my people on the reservation.

I have a younger brother, Mark, in prison for 25 to life. Two other cousins have the same sentence and a third cousin is heading in that direction. That could have been me. But instead of doing life, I'm living life--and loving it.

Ready more of Rudy's story here.

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