MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

A mother who lost her son to heroin addiction is sharing his story in the hopes of preventing more tragic deaths.

Diane Shepler spoke Tuesday night at the BCIU building in Muhlenberg Township.

Her son Tyler died in December of 2012.

Police say he stole pants from the Walmart in Muhlenberg Township and was hit by a car while fleeing the scene.

Tyler was in three rehab facilities over the course of a year but couldn't beat the addiction.

Diane is now sharing her son's story, explaining how addiction is a life-long disease.

"To think that we can rehab someone in a matter of ten days detox is completely ridiculous. I think that it needs to be looked at as the long term disease that it is. It's a life sentence," Shepler said.

Heroin use is a growing concern in Pennsylvania.

Police are awaiting toxicology reports to see if another death over the weekend in Berks County is linked to the drug.