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Since Prop 36 took effect in July 2001, the law has helped over 150,000 Californians enter drug treatment and improve their lives and the lives of their families. There is one group we—and our legislators—don’t hear from enough: Prop 36 graduates.

Oliver H. is one of them. After drinking and drugging for over three decades, he graduated from Prop 36 treatment and probation in San Diego in 2005. Read his story here. Prop 36 drug treatment, not jail, helped turn around his life and the lives of many of his friends. Here, read what he thinks about Prop 36 and how grads can give back.

Have something to say in response? Let Oliver and us know on our comments page or by contacting him directly at oliverhamilton@sbcglobal.net.

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One Year As An Advocate

Since October 21st 2005, the day I graduated Prop. 36 in court, I’ve had the opportunity to step up to the front lines where the battle for Prop. 36 takes place. From Sacramento to San Diego, I’ve seen the hard work people put into Prop. 36, keeping the dream of recovery alive for everyone in need.

When things don’t seem so bright, these advocates keep the lights on and the doors open for future Prop. 36 clients and graduates to come!

My thanks goes out to all in Sacramento who fought so hard for the funding of Prop. 36, and all the judges, lawyers, speakers, and advocates who helped defeat the “flash incarceration” law.

Prisons are for criminals, not for people with the disease of addiction. As an advocate, I’ve watched many others throughout the state pave the way for me, carrying the message to the state of California that building more prisons is not the answer.

Treatment instead of incarceration—now that works!

To all the voters who voted for Prop. 36 six years ago, thank you for believing that we—people who live with addiction—can change. We can turn our lives around and become productive members of society again. To all alumni of Prop. 36, thank you for taking our struggle to the next level. Standing up and being accounted for takes strength and courage. To all directors, staff and interns at treatment facilities and recovery homes throughout the state, and everywhere, a very special hoorah goes out to you as well!

My wish for 2007 is that all of us continue to trudge the road, taking the fight for Prop. 36 and for recovery to an even higher level of success.

Until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!!

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