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About Jake Jansen

Educational Background and Points of Notice

- Bachelors of Business Finance from UW Milwaukee

- Certified Intervention Specialist from Alliance Counseling Center

- Certified Recovery Life Coach from Crossroads Recovery Coaching

- On the board of directors for Recovery Coaches International

- On the outreach committee for the International Coaching Federation’s Wisconsin Chapter

- Web Radio Talk Show Host on Addiction and Recovery on Voice America’s Health and Wellness Chanel

- Navigated the judicial system

- Administrator for Stop Heroin WI Facebook page

- Clean from IV heroin use since July 19th, 2010


Jacob Jansen’s Story


My name is Jacob Patrick Jansen and I have been in recovery from IV heroin use since July 19th 2010.  I am 33 years old, have one younger sister and was raised in a stable middle class family in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI.  My parents raised me well and taught me how important communication is.  I was a smart kid and exposed to many different activities as my parents strived to give me every opportunity possible, however I usually looked to hang out with older kids and adults growing up as I felt that is where I fit in better.  My parents took me traveling to different areas of the world, got me in boy scouts, into sports and music lessons.  I had a good upbringing with parents who were responsible members of society with no history of drug or alcohol abuse.


When I was 13, I had my first drink around a camp fire with adults.  As I entered high school, I made friends with the corner store owners’ child, and I became a local supplier of beer to the high school kids, sneaking it out the back of the store.  Hanging out with the older kids exposed me to marijuana at 15.  I stayed out of trouble however, off the authority radar, and was a good student.  I was a scholar athlete, in swimming, track, cross country, in the marching band (tuba), and involved in many advanced placement classes.  No one in my life could have imagined the path I was heading down.  Looking to try new experiences, as many high school senior students are, I read Alexander Shulgin’s two books (PiHKAL and TiHKAL) on hallucinogens, and I decided to try hallucinogens shortly after.  I remember enjoying learning about all the drugs and how they worked, but trying them was far different than anything I could imagine.  In 1999 I graduated from high school and entered college at UW Milwaukee as a pre-med student.  I wanted to be an anesthesiologist and learn how drugs affect the human body.  At this point the flood gates opened to different hallucinogens.  I tried MDMA, LSD, DMT, 2CB, Ketamine, liquid G and I’m sure a few others, but it always was a weekend thing and tried to keep my priorities strait.  Marijuana was now also becoming a regular part of my daily routine. 


In 2000, I got a job at a major Hedge fund in Milwaukee.  I started as a temp, and within 6 months, my hard work and interest in the industry paid off and I was given a position on the “floor” as a day trader trading NASDAQ stocks.  I switched my major from pre-med to business finance that day.  It was work hard play hard environment.  We made lots of money, and our personal life stayed out of the office, so I decided to cut back on smoking marijuana so I didn’t smell like it.  I got to experience neat things while I was there.  Thousand dollar bottles of champagne, court side seats to the Bucks, limo’s, 5 star meals, lived in the bosses mansion for 6 months and had drove a $180,000 sports car.  I was young, with money and had a huge ego, and it wasn’t long before I got my first criminal charges in my brand new sports car.  I was pulled over with an ounce of mushrooms, an ounce and a half of weed, and under the influence (I blew a .08).  Because of the charges, I had to move away from illegal drugs if I wanted to make it through the judicial system and keep my job.  Uppers like cocaine and meth were not my drugs of choice so those were easy to give up.  I liked to relax as I already run on “high speed” most of the time.  I realized that I functioned very well on OxyContin, and it quickly became my drug of choice.  I actively sought out doctors that would prescribe high doses of pain medication.  I found doctors rarely would question me if I dressed nicer than them and I knew what I was talking about.   It didn’t take long to go from recreational use to having to sniff lines in the bathroom at work so I could function.  At the end of 4 years at this company, I was in charge of the precious metals desk trading around 150 million in gold, copper and silver futures and was also trading close to a million shares a day in the NASDAQ stock market.  While my performance was still some of the best in the company, my personal life crossed over too far.  I was told to take a sabbatical, and was never called to return.  I was devastated as I thought this is what I was meant to do in life.  I now am prone to the philosophy that things happen the way they are supposed to, we may not understand why at the moment, but we will figure it out if we need to.


My life quickly spiraled out of control after that.  I jumped from job to job trying to find any way to support my growing addiction.  A few months later, my doctor was raided by the DEA for overprescribing medication and lost his license.  This is when I moved to heroin.  It was a cheaper high that was equivalent to the pharmaceuticals.  It took me a month and a half before I went from sniffing it to shooting it.  I never thought I would have used needles, it was a move made from desperation.  I continued to use intravenously for the next four and a half years.   I again found new doctors and sold the prescriptions for a cheaper heroin fix.  Much of these years are a blur.  I was arrested numerous times and by my 29th birth day I was shooting heroin, cocaine and MDMA and taking anything I could find that would get me high.  Jail without treatment only led me to new connections.  I also watched for the first time, one of those connections die in my arms to drug addiction.  I tried to keep all this hidden from my family but looking back, they knew, but had no idea what to do about it.  This destruction of me and my family’s life ended, and a different mindset began, with my parent’s house being raided by police on April 23rd 2010.


I was facing a total of 57 years in prison for distribution of heroin, operating a drug house, paraphernalia and bail jumping from failed urine analysis before sentencing.  At this point I was told to either get clean or wear a wire.  I was not going to benefit from someone else’s misfortune so I decided to get clean and go to treatment.  I enter Tellurian detox in Madison and went to the Teresa McGovern residential treatment facility after.  I only stayed one week as I had a court ordered no contact with one of the individuals in my case and was politely asked to leave the facility.  That individual chose the same facility just a few days before me.  I left feeling defeated, went to my doctor, and got another script of OxyContin.  I ended up leaving to go up north with my friend Mike where we finished the script before I entered the next treatment facility.  It was the last time I ever saw him.  I got clean, he didn’t, and he died a year later to an overdose.


I entered NOVA in Oshkosh on July 19th 2010, my clean date, and they helped save my life.  In the facility I learned to function without drugs, build a support system and positive coping mechanisms.  I celebrated my 30th birthday at NOVA.  The director that day asked how I was doing.  I stated “good, it’s my birthday!”  He replied, “You are lucky to be alive”, and that has stuck with me.  Many IV users do not make it as far into use as I did, and I know this to be true as I lose someone I knew to this addiction almost every year.  I started to enjoy life sober again and wanted to help other people through it.  I was looking forward to my one year clean so I could go back and talk to the clients and share my story.  I now, as often as I am invited, speak to the clients at NOVA about my story.  I made it through the program and entered a half way house for two months.  I was trying to build my life again and this is where I started my company, My Recovery Project LLC.  It started as a customized clothing company where people could order clothes and money would go back to programs that helped fight against drug abuse.  A little more on that later…


I was 10 and a half months clean when I had sentencing for court.  I was reenrolled at classes at UW Milwaukee and found a job as an assistant at a HVAC company.  I had a number of recommendations for lighter sentencing, but I was still shaking.  I had never faced this much time as the DA was recommending 3 years in prison.  I decided to plead guilty to felony possession charges, and the judge after reading the letters, saw fit to give me 9 months work release because of all of the positive things I was doing. Getting through the Huber work release program was the most difficult period of my life.  I would not have made it through without treatment and support.  Jail was definitely punishment and I have more nightmares and post traumatic stress from 9 months of Huber than I do from 9 years of opiate dependence.  One of the things that kept me going in Huber was helping my roommates get through there dope sickness and help them find treatment.  This is when I decided I wanted to help people get off opiates.  I left Huber as a walking zombie; many in my position do not make it 9 months and are sent to prison because of the stress and lack of sleep.  I made the Dean’s list at UWM while there.


I changed my business focus from clothing, to helping people get off drugs, and with the help of my AODA councilor who was also the clinical supervisor, I became a certified intervention specialist.  I found I worked well with families and because I had been through an opiate addiction, current users would listen to what I have to say.  I then went on to become a certified recovery coach.  I didn’t just want to send people off to treatment, I wanted to be there when they were done to help them solve their problems, find support in the community and find purpose in life.  I realized early in my recovery, that everyone’s recovery is different, I just help them clarify what works for them.  Recovery Coaching has helped me clarify how to get what I want out of my recovery, with hard work.


In less than four years since I have gotten clean, I have been released two and a half years early from probation and I’m out of the legal system, I went back to school and graduated with a finance degree from UW Milwaukee, bought a house, planted gardens, rebuilt family relationships, had a child, started My Recovery Project LLC, started writing a book on my life, was elected to the board of directors for Recovery Coaches International, currently starting a second business, was chosen as the new web radio talk show host on addiction and recovery on Voice America’s Health and Wellness Chanel, and I have been drug free since July 19th 2010.  I again have found happiness and balance in my life drug free.  I have done a lot in my recovery to find a better life, and I enjoy helping others and their families find their happiness in recovery.  It was a difficult education no one ever wants but I am now putting that difficult education to good use helping others find their recovery.  If you or a loved one are looking for help, you can email me at or call my cell at 262-290-1072.  Thank you for reading a very condensed version of my life story.  Please let me know how I can help, consultations are always free and my phone is always on as addiction and recovery are not 9am to 5pm.


Enjoy Life,


Jake Jansen




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