Founded in 2007, Families Against Narcotics is a grass roots organization based in Macomb County, Michigan. Since that first town hall meeting, FAN has held monthly meetings in that same church basement. A safe place where people can face and learn about addiction from others who have had similar experiences. Hundreds have walked through those doors over the past few years, including families affected by addiction; concerned citizens; law enforcement; judges; health care professionals; leaders in education, business, and religion; and recovering addicts.
A key element of FAN's success is fostering relationships within the recovery community.
Fraser Public Safety Officers challenge FAN's
young people in recovery to a friendly softball game.
Over 50 recovering youth speak for FAN on a regular basis. Their support and willingness to share openly and honestly about their addiction has become an invaluable resource for the entire organization.
Equally important, the service-work opportunities afforded them through FAN have become an integral component of their recovery program. Without them, FAN would not be what it is today. So when a couple of FAN members decided to open a 3/4 house for those seeking recovery, FAN was there to help them get started. We provided basic living necessities and FAN members continue to deliver homemade meals for their Sunday dinners.
In a recent initiative, FAN, in conjunction with the 41B District Drug Court in Macomb County, has developed a program designed to assist young people in the court systems who seek recovery. In part, members of the FAN recovery community become mentors to those in the program, and all drug court participants are required to attend monthly FAN meetings as a way of giving back to the community. This helps to create a stronger recovery support network for all those affected by addiction, provides an opportunity to involve family members in the addiction process, and offers a viable solution that can be replicated in other communities.
In addition to the Macomb County chapter of FAN, there are over a dozen active chapters throughout the state, and over a half dozen additional communities have expressed serious interest in opening chapters in Michigan as well as out of state.