We Fight Spotlight: Families Against Narcotics

For this week’s Spotlight, We Fight chatted with Families Against Narcotics – Grand Traverse, an awesome organization that helps individuals of all ages struggling with substance use disorders, and supports their families as well. FAN offers many opportunities to get connected with resources: learn more in the Spotlight!

How would you describe your organization to a stranger?

Families Against Narcotics is a non-profit composed of family, friends, law enforcement, legal, social service and others offering support, education and resources for individuals and families going through substance use disorders (including narcotics and alcohol). These can be families who have someone who needs help, is in recovery, is post-recovery or they have even lost someone to SUD.

There are over 25 chapters in Michigan, and it all started with (former) Judge Linda Davis in Macomb County. We hold forums once per month in person or by Zoom, educating people on SUD, what they can do about it and how they can find help for an individual and for themselves, as the family needs support, too.

They don’t know where to turn and we can offer resources, a lending ear and help as they go through the recovery journey. We also look to reduce the stigma that SUD is a disease that can happen to any individual and any family.  No one is immune but there is hope and we can help families find it.

What are the primary goals of your work?

Education, support and resources and of course a world where no one ever loses someone they love to SUD.

What are some resources you offer?

Our forum is educational in nature as the speaker is usually talking about recovery, medical treatment, mental health issues and a laundry list of topics related to SUD. We also offer speakers who are in successful recovery themselves.

We listen and provide individuals and families resources like where to find peer and family recovery coaching, detox and medical treatment of all types, mental health and social service support, drug court information, and so much more. If it is SUD related, we can generally find a resource for you while offering it in a caring environment provided by those who’ve been there or work with SUD professionally.

What are you most proud of about the work you do at your organization?

As the coordinator of Families Against Narcotics-Grand Traverse, I am humbled by the people who come to our forums and say that they are so glad to find others who are either going through or have gone through what they are, in a non-judgemental environment and they find help they didn’t even know existed. They are very grateful and that is why we exist; to offer that support if they have been unable to find it. I am proud that we can offer this and reduce the stigma that it can happen to anybody, any family. N. MIchigan is not immune.

What’s a favorite memory or experience you’ve had so far in your programming?
Seeing any person in long-term recovery. It is possible and every story is amazing!

How can folks get involved, or support you?

The best way to get involved in Families Against Narcotics – Grand Traverse is to attend one of our forums. They are held the first Thursday of each month at the Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass St. Traverse City, doors open at 6:45 PM, or by Zoom. From there you would find out what we are doing here in N. Michigan to educate people about the dangers of opioids, reducing SUD stigma, and offer support for those with SUD.

We have events, offer speaking engagements to groups, businesses or schools and we are always looking for people who would like to share our message.

To contact us at Families Against Narcotics Grand Traverse, call us at 231-883-9111, email tccoordinator@familiesagainstnarcotics.org, our website https://familiesagainstnarcotics.org/grand-traverse and we are on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. We also try to post our forums and events on local community calendars.

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