56-year-old Richard Wolff says he is proof drug rehabilitation works.
"I've been clean since January 13, 1998," he said.
Before that, he says he spent nearly ten years of his life in limbo.
"I was drinking alcohol every day, I was doing cocaine and crack every day," he recalled.
After once spending four months in jail, he was given a second chance. The offer: complete a rehab program successfully.
Wolff completed the program at no cost to him.
"It's a much, much better life," he said.
Budget cuts have wiped out many similar rehab programs over the past decade.
"When you figure every twenty-seven hours we have an overdose death and it's from prescription drugs, we've got a serious problem," said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, of PBSO.
Now, a new move to reverse that trend is in place. A coalition of lawmakers, law enforcement, and private businesses are coming together to try and fund new rehab centers.
A golf tournament developed by the South Florida Coalition Against Substance Abuse is raising private money for that effort. No taxpayer dollars involved.
Lawmakers say rehab programs can cost a patient up to $30,000 dollars a month - unaffordable for all but the wealthy.
Finding new ways to help addicts now can help save big public costs down the road.
And Richard Wolff hopes more people get the second chance that turned his life around.
"Treatment does work," he said. "It helps people, like me."
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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