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For You, the Addicted Nurse

Jack Stem

Peer Advocacy for Impaired Nurses, LLC


Whether you are addicted to illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol; you need to know this -

So am I.

I also want you to know about me and how I became clean and sober.

First, let me say this:


So what?


So, I can help you achieve recovery, because I understand you.


Because I am you!


Here are a few things I “know” about you – because I know it about me (as in I “know” it in my gut...that instinctive knowing) which, right now, you don't know...intellectually OR instinctively!

I also know no one with the DISEASE of ADDICTION can recover alone! I did not recover alone. I had help.

At first, the help wasn't something I wanted, it was “strongly suggested” (by my spouse and my boss). Those early efforts at helping me didn't last. I relapsed - more than once. Why? Because I didn't need or want help! I thought I was in control. But my thinking was defective (because of the altered physiology of my brain as a result of this disease and the use of mood altering chemicals). But because there were those around me who wouldn't give up, I eventually DID want help, and sought it out. THAT'S when my recovery began.

Now it is your time. There is a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel called addiction. Let's walk toward that light together!


I show you how not to self-destruct. A major way of doing this is simply getting outside of your self. By focusing on things outside of you, and on others struggling with this demon, you are able to stop focusing on using drugs and alcohol to deal with life's ups and downs. I will show you how to “self-destruct” one thing:

The Addicted YOU


I discovered a great truth (it was actually pointed out to me by another recovering nurse) change is unavoidable. Change is a natural part of life. When I was using, my life changed every day - it got worse. When I became clean and sober, my life changed every day - it got better. With each passing day of being clean and keeping things simple, my life became much better.

Change can be scary - until you are able to see it's happening anyway! I will help you see that change can either happen “to” you, or, you can make the decision that the changes in your life will be ones that YOU make happen!

Fear of change decreases significantly, when you do it one day at a time, and you don't do it alone.


”Change” isn't difficult. DECIDING TO CHANGE is the difficult part!


Once you finally make the decision to change, change becomes inevitable! (Have you ever noticed how horrible you feel when you have to make a difficult decision, but the relief that follows when you DO make the decision? The same thing applies with recovery.)

Alvin Lee, of Ten Years After (He played at Woodstock in 1969...I know...I’m OLD!) Wrote the lyrics for a song titled, “I’ve Been There Too”. (Alvin Lee is a long time recovering addict himself - this is only one of his many songs about addiction)

Read the lyrics to the song and see if they apply to where you are right now.

“I’ve Been There Too”

 Copyright © Alvin Lee

There's someone somewhere - who can't go on;


Their life is cryin', it's all gone wrong.


What can I say now - to help you get through,


Except to say that, I've been there too ?


You got to wake up, shake up, you got a right to live;


Shake up, don't break up, you've got a lot to give.


Your soul is achin' - you can't see it through;


But time is healin', each day you do.


Keep on lookin' forward - forget the past;


It's up to you now, don't let it last.


You got to wake up, shake up, you got a right to live;


Shake up, don't break up, you've got a lot to give.


You'll wake up one mornin' - you start to feel good;


The sun in the blue sky, looks like it should.


'Cause time is a healer - it's strange but it's true;


So keep lookin' forward, the sun will come through.


You got to wake up, shake up, you got a right to live;


Shake up, don't break up, you've got a lot to give...


I believe that you can recover; no matter how far down you have gone, no matter how many times you have tried, no matter what your circumstances are, just like me - you can recover. I did, so why can't you? Let me help you - it's simple; contact me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.


Jack Stem




I will respond as soon as I am able after receiving your message, usually within 12 hours or less. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room or urgent care facility.

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