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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.

Oliver H.

  Route 36: The Road to New Beginnings

My name is Oliver H. I’m a graduate of Vietnam Veterans of San Diego, and a graduate of Prop. 36.

I had always considered myself as a kind, loving and honest man—actually it was another delusion in my addicted mind. I tried painting a picture with off-colored paint of a man who was not there.

Drinking and drugging for 30 years plus, I’d turned into a full blown let down to family, friends and most of all myself. Living only for the next drink or drug I would always think about turning my life around, wanting badly to regain my dignity and stability, to be a productive member of society again.

With only brief moments of clarity in between short runs of sobriety, did I have these foggy thoughts and dreams of life. It wasn’t until the end of 2003 when divine intervention became instrumental in my quest for a better life. After going to court on an “under the influence” charge, I was giving PC 1000. I failed at PC 1000 after bring non-compliant the first time. I went back to court and they instantly gave me Prop. 36.

Being the addict that I was, not looking at my non-compliance. Instead, being very angry at the system for not giving me a second chance at PC 1000. Noticing I was digging a deeper hole for myself by being angry at the system, I resentfully accepted the offer of Prop. 36 by the courts.

The key to successfully turning my life around is first wanting to change. I’ve always believed if you want something bad enough, work hard at it long enough, eventually it will happen. Next I must be extremely honest with myself by realizing what will and won’t work for me. In order to do Prop. 36 out-patient, I would have to fight my way through countless numbers of grocery stores, liquor stores and mini-marts. My drinking far worse than my drugging, both of them together has proven to be far too much for any man or woman.

So, my best option was to go into [residential] treatment. This would allow me to work on myself internally. Looking at my anger and resentment towards life, this would be the best option. While in treatment, I had Prop. 36 classes, weekly classes that helped me realize that furthering my drinking and addictive way of life would only increase my chances of a life filled with jails, institutions and one day death.

After graduating treatment, I went to a 12-week Prop. 36 aftercare provided by VVSD. This is where the Prop. 36 counsellors helped me fine tune my life skills, make synchronized adjustments in my attitude and most importantly helped me notice my red flags (relapse warning signs); which I must say over half of them involve people, places and things. I must never again go around the corner to see how my past is doing!

To everyone in Prop. 36, the ending is true. My record for the case has been wiped clean, all other fines and penalties waived.

A very special thanks goes out to all the voters who voted for Prop. 36. I’m just one of thousands who’ve turned their life around. The time has come to let you know how much this program is needed for many people of all walks of life in the years to come. If not for the Prop. 36 program, I would be in a different frame of mind and position in life.

Prop. 36 has given me the extra tools I needed, a fresh outlook and start on my new way of life. I thank everyone involved in my recovery. Truly, Prop. 36 and voters like yourselves have made my road to new beginnings possible!

Choose a Story
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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