For recovering addict Alexandra Datig, marijuana was a gateway drug that led her down a path of heartache and destruction.
Datig — an anti-drug activist who rallied against the marijuana legalization initiative Proposition 19 last year — relayed her downward spiral during a meeting Monday organized by the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition, which has been working to combat drug and alcohol use among teens in the foothills.
“I was trying to find a place to fit in, and it seemed like the best place to fit in was with kids who did drugs,” Datig said.
Fitting in with other classmates was challenging for Datig, who, at the time, had just moved with her family from Switzerland and didn’t speak English.
But her drug-using teen friends turned on her. One gave Datig marijuana, dragged her into a house and raped her, she said.
Three months later, Datig said she was raped again by three men after being given marijuana, cocaine and alcohol. Fearing an angry reaction, she didn’t tell her parents.
“I have seen the lowest among low,” she said. “I have been to the lowest places you can possibly go as a result of my risky behavior associated with my drug addiction.”
Datig, who managed to turn her life around and establish a career in politics, will celebrate 13 years of sobriety on Dec. 31.
“I am not here because I want a standing ovation,” she told residents. “I am here to warn you that drug abuse will lead you to places where you will be afraid of who you are, and that was certainly the case for me.”
Last October, Datig stood in front of the Glendale Police Department alongside Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to oppose the legalization of marijuana, a ballot measure later rejected by voters.
Datig urged residents who attended Monday’s meeting to inquire about drug policies on school campuses and to talk with their children about marijuana use.
Makayla Rabago — a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Rosemont Middle School who attended the meeting with her mother — said that while she has never been around drugs, some teens get them from older siblings and Crescenta Valley High School students.
“Not that I would ever want to, but it’s just so easy to get,” she said.