Spotlight

Jeff Stern

 

A native of Los Angeles, Jeff S. had an idyllic childhood. Like so many, Jeff heard the generic “drugs are bad” message in childhood, but it didn’t translate from Public Service Announcement to real life, and in the 9th grade, he got high for the first time. “It gave me a sense of amazement. I felt awesome,” recalled Jeff.

Using drugs as a mood enhancer, Jeff said that his love affair with drugs began on his first try.

“The first time I did ecstasy was the best night of my life,” continued Jeff. “I kept doing more and more and more, but with that came a lot of depression and insecurity. It went from being a good time to being a crutch.”

By the time he graduated high school Jeff was fully addicted to Valium. It became the perfect remedy to quiet the ever loudening noise within. Subsequently, he began to see his dreams get away from him. It was seeing one of those dreams, his dream of attending Tulane University, which was cut short after his freshman year, that finally got the attention of his parents.

Jeff bounced around treatment centers, pulling together months, and even years of sobriety; however, he always found his way back to his first love – drugs. By his mid-twenties, Jeff embarked on an almost decade-long run of functional drug use.

“I was in denial. I didn’t have any real relationships – I took hostages. I used people for what I could get from them. I thought I was still in control in the sense that I wasn’t bad enough to go to treatment,” recalled Jeff.

Jeff’s craggy journey took him from culinary school to clothing design, and eventually to the music industry. It would be the latter that would take him down a really dark path, introducing him to  the gangster lifestyle.  Jeff said that he became drawn to that shadowy way of life and quickly fell in love with the intoxication of power that came with that lifestyle.

Eventually, the lifestyle caught up with him and he had a run-in with the police. For the first time in Jeff’s life, the consequences of his actions became larger than life.

“It was scary,” continued Jeff. “This wasn’t just my parents getting mad at me. This was real; it changed me.”

Jeff made the choice to seek help at the Pasadena Recovery Center. It would be this stint in rehab that would serve as a wake-up call for the musician. It would also be through truly acknowledging the power of his addiction, and his inability to control it, that Jeff would begin to see change transpire in his life.

Jeff stayed in the recovery world, from a resident to managing sober living centers, to becoming a counselor. It was during this time in Jeff’s life that he remembers really beginning to see a shift take place.

“My whole life, it seems I was running from my insecurities,” recalled Jeff. “I never gave sobriety a real chance to work, but now that I have three years clean, I found what I was looking for all along inner peace.”

Jeff came to Beit T’Shuvah in January of 2018 as a counselor and is thrilled to be here. He takes great pride in helping others who struggle as he did. With a smile, Jeff proclaimed.

“I love Beit T’Shuvah. This place is remarkable. Most treatment centers are for profit and the fact that this place allows people who have nothing to come and seek help amazes me. I’m honored to be a part of it.”