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My Story

Created by Shelby Lerch

Myself & Long Family History

Thank you for visiting my Story of Hope I created in celebration of recovery. Please help me share my page so that other families know there are pathways to healing and hope.

My name is Shelby I am the organizer of this donation page. Not only do I advocate for the cause, I have my own experience personally with it. Aftering completing nursing school out of high school. Never being heavy into any kind of drugs. As a teen I did do what teens do, drank with my friends on weekends. I at 12 did smoke marijuana again at this point never was drugs a issue 

After graduation I started to work at a local bodega. Small town everyone knows everyone, generations wide type of town. I started to talk to a girl I did attend highschool with. She was grades ahead of me but we hit it off I really did not have friends so this was exciting. Getting warning to stay clear of her. I never was one to listen I learned the hard way. A relative being the first one to ever give me Heroin. I remember just like yesterday knowing I was done for. That 1 bag like a warm blanket being dropped ovee me. The instant no thoughts no care in the world. It allowed me to operate on this speed of lightning pace. My thought process being sped up but being able to fully comprehend. Getting way more done then I would on a average day.

5 years into my opiote addiction nobody really knowing I had a full blown habit. I decided to step it up q notch. Intrigued by what my friends looked like when using it through IV. If I thought this was the worst. Worst was yet to even come show me the deep depths of hell. That's the best way I can even tell it. Walking the very low point the world has to offer. At this point I was spending on average a week $500+.Getting comfortable enough to mix other substances into the mix.

I finally was exposed for what I really was. Not a soul could ever imagined me out of all people. Being a heroin IV user. Looking frail as ever eyes deep into my sockets. Looking pale as if the sun never touched my skin. Wearing hoodies when it is 100+ degrees out. Rehab was not a 1 or even 3 times ordeal. 8 rehab stays and 2 detox only stays. Nothing was really happening I would relapse within less then 30 days. Most times getting out and within 24 hours I'm loaded. Relationships being touch and go. My self esteem non existent the future not looking to bright. I was at the lowest point, the low to where we do more in the hopes it'll be the last. Not thinking of who it will impact only myself to think about. The constant warfare in my head going like a freight train. Not ever being able to stay sober. I had it my mental state was chaotic. The constant battle of living or death. The hurt, anguish, disbelief, and worry I will not make it the next time. Addiction like this did not happen in my family. This to them was the worst case. Many police encounters, physical violence not just done to me. I was the perp in this story. I was the abuser physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually. Not caring who was in my wrath. I would take out anyone who stood in my way.

Fast forward off and on with my use. I lost my dad to a overdose of heroin. The heroin that I supplied for both of us. Just trying to have "fun" ends up in a fatality and soul was taken. That day would change my life forever. I did get on the MAT program I finally got a good therapist. Finally started to look deeper into my mental health. Getting my diagnosis was not even easy. I am now sober since July 2017 2 children. I still struggle hard with my mental health. I did not know or understand how that played a role. Not including the sexual abuse, physical abuse the emotional neglect and lack of support. I today help people that are in shoes I have worn at one time. Something I know so well there are days I question? How did I make it out alive?. 

There is many more out there like me. The lack of resources are a issue. Now we do not just have heroin we have fetanyl which is more lethal. I have lost my brother 2 years ago as well due to addiction. That is when I knew I had to move the what I was. Still trying to cope with not being able to save them all but 1 at a time.

Please consider sharing, commenting and or donating. 


Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.

*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization.  EIN: 52-1736502

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