When a child suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction what do you do as a parent?
A new partnership here in Rockford, hopes to answer that question for them.
13 News learns how a local family, whose son suffered from addiction, what they did to overcome this struggle and what they are doing to help others in the community.
Tyler Lybert started using drugs when he was in sixth grade.
At first it was alcohol, then marijuana and eventually heroin.
"It took over my life," said Tyler, "It took over school, it took over my family and I was a full blown drug addict by 15 years old."
It was a way for Tyler to fit in and meet friends but what he didn't know was the affect it was having on his family.
"I never knew anything about what I was putting my family through, I always thought that as an addict it was my problem and I wasn't hurting anybody," said Tyler.
Tyler's parents and even his sister felt the affects of his addiction.
"As a sibling I hated Tyler for what he was doing," said Tyler's sister Ashleigh Lybert.
"We were just as sick as Tyler was," said his mother Sandi Lybert.
"I always thought as a father that is was my job to protect my family," cried Tyler's father Rick Lybert, "To see what it was doing to my family and to not be able to do anything about it, it hurt."
The worst part was they didn't know how to help Tyler.
"We said to ourselves what can we do? Rick wanted to go after all of the drug dealers that was Rick's first thing, we are going after every single one of those drug dealers and we are going to stop the supply but we realized we couldn't, we could only stop the demand," said Sandi.
By age 21, Tyler's parents got him into a treatment center in Wisconsin.
"When I was in treatment for my substance abuse my parents and my sister sat down and tried to figure out what they could do to help other families not go through the same things that we went through," said Tyler.
So the family created "Your Choice".
It's a program focused on prevention and education of drug and alcohol abuse.
They travel to schools in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois raising awareness with students about this problem.
"We go out there, we educate we give the knowledge to parents, we start talking about it," said Sandi.
And to help expand its services in Northern Illinois, Rosecrance gave "Your Choice" a grant.
"Were trying to really spread the message that if you educate your kids, you educate your students, educate your families, then hopefully we can really help stop some of these folks from venturing to addiction," said Kelly Dinsmore, Rosecrance Director of Business Development.
And for Tyler he hopes his story reaches anyone who may be going through a similar situation.
"You are not alone, you really aren't," said Tyler.
Today, he's six years sober.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addition you can call the Rosecrance 24-Hour Helpline at (888) 928-5278. You can also learn more about their treatment centers on their website: http://www.rosecrance.org/
And to learn more about the program "Your Choice" click the link here: http://yourchoice-live.org/