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Jeff Venekamp

Looking back on his young adult years, Venekamp realizes he was in denial – about the partying and the pain. “During the 12 years that I was a drunk, my life was a mixture of disorder, chaos, pain, and hopelessness,” Venekamp writes on the Face It Together website. “I lied to almost everyone. I lost important relationships. I lost tens of thousands of dollars. I lost and used friends. I lost my self-respect. I didn’t see that then, but it is crystal clear now.” Venekamp found recovery from addiction at the urging of a friend “who was willing to risk our friendship in order to help me,” he says. Today, he is a positive role model to college students, serving as Senior Associate Director of Campus Life at Augustana University in South Dakota. “Since, I have been sober I have: met my wife, been a father to three beautiful children (two daughters and a son), engaged a fantastic job, regained my health, attempted to help others, shared my story, and I have regained my self-respect,” he says.

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