Stop the Heroin was formed after founders Bill & Tammy Schmincke's son, Steven James Schmincke, passed away after a heroin overdose the day before Easter 2016.
We were just an ordinary family, 2 parents, (Bill & Tammy), 2 kids (Billy & Steven), 1 dog and 1 cat, making our way through life with the belief that faith and love could solve any problem.
Then the devastation of heroin addiction struck our family. Our son Steven, like many other youth of his generation, thought he was invincible, that he could use heroin with impunity. We knew better! Like other families in our situation, when Steven wasn't home we were in constant fear. Every time the phone rang, we nearly jumped out of our skins. Was this "THE" call?
When our efforts were unsuccessful, we made the decision to bring our son back into our home. Our hope and prayer was that being in a loving home, being with his two darling daughters, Cassidy & Abigail (whom we are raising), where we could keep watch over him, was the best option.
At least we thought so, but we were wrong! On Easter Weekend, Saturday Morning, March 26, 2016, we found our son, unresponsive, in his room. This was the worst day of our lives, and the last day of his! No, there would be no Easter egg hunt with the girls, not that day, not ever again with their father.
Our family is still a wreck, but we decided to do something more than just "get over it". What keeps us going from day to day, is the need to create a good life for our grandchildren, to not let Steven's tragic death be in vain. We have a new found purpose, the challenge of helping others struggling with addiction. We pray that in our own small way, we can harness the events of our own tragedy to help prevent others from entering the living hell that has been thrust upon our family.
We have come to realize that addicts tend to "burn all their bridges", ultimately alienating all of their sober friends and family. The recovering addict, after going through rehabilitation, usually with very little to no support at all, is often left to "pick themselves up by their bootstraps". This is where we come in. As a means of therapy and healing for ourselves, our continuing efforts focus on providing successful graduates of rehabilitation programs, the cost for the first month in a sober living home. Our ongoing goal is to provide the means for survival and recovery for individuals who desperately want to escape the misery of addiction. We invite you to support our mission, to help other families avoid the tragedy that fell upon our family.
With Love and Gratitude,
Bill & Tammy Schmincke
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey