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Success Stories

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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.



Tony Jackson

 

My name is Tony Jackson. I’m a grateful graduate of Prop. 36.
I’ve always been a people person. But very gradually, very subtly I drifted into a world of isolation, a world where I was stripped of my own identity.

It’s very interesting to think back, I really truly considered myself a “functional user” for 12 years. I’m a licensed insurance agent, I have an office and a respectable career, and I can handle this, I thought.

My family is all on the East Coast. I love them very much, so much I thought I had to isolate them from the type of lifestyle I was living, keeping them in the dark. Mom was always there but there wasn’t a thing she could say or do. I literally Lived to Use and was prepared to DIE that way.

There would be days when I’d be totally sick and tired of using and I’d vow that this was the last night. I wanted to be normal, but after two or three days of that I decided that it was WAAAAY better being high.

As an addict I would educate myself on the substance I was abusing but failed to look at my own issues and character defects. I had convinced myself that I had a medical condition. I had an attitude of indifference with society, the laws and even with NA, AA, & CA.

The night I was arrested for the first and only time, I remember telling that officer: I’m glad you finally got me, ‘cause this is the only way I’ll stop, besides death. The officer told me that I would be offered of Prop. 36 by the courts, and that he hoped that I’d take advantage of the program.

I knew jails would NOT and could NOT treat my disease. But with the basic guidelines laid by Prop. 36 I knew that I had a solid foundation to start rebuilding. I was given an opportunity to follow this program or go to jail.

Well, being the addict that I was, I ended up chipping here and there, still wanting to stop but not really ready to stop using. My Probation Office violated me two times. I think that Prop. 36 kind of anticipates a couple of slips and that’s pretty wise of it.
After my second violation I was reinstated back into the program. But the counselors at my outpatient treatment center were hip to my routine and gave me the opportunity to go for residential treatment. That allowed me to work on myself internally and have direct focus on those issues and character defects to make adjustments accordingly.

Prop. 36 residential helped me reprogram my life skills, make much needed adjustments in my distorted way of thinking, and most vitally recognize the red flags.

I have been given a new lease on LIFE. Thanks to Prop. 36 and the grace of GOD. I learned that I cannot control people, places and things. I appreciate this program. Without it I’d be in prison, in an insane asylum, or DEAD. STRAIGHT UP!

Today I am actively involved in my recovery. I go to church, do meetings, talk with my sponsor, and work my steps.

I AM A GRATEFUL ADDICT TODAY, AND I’M NOT GOING TO USE TODAY! THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY HEART & SOUL THAT PROP. 36 WAS AN EFFECTIVE AND INSTRUMENTAL PART OF MY RECOVERY!

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Gary McNeil
Scott J.
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Tony Jackson
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Vicki Barry
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Rene S.
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Danielle M.
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Preston D.
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Charles H.
Lou M.
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Marc L.
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Drug Policy Alliance · (916) 444-3751 · sacto@drugpolicy.org
 
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