Families Against Narcotics leads addiction fight

fan logoPresident Obama recently announced a $1 billion national initiative to combat the abuse and addiction of both prescription and street drugs.

But for several years, actions have been underway in Macomb County to fight addiction, a common occurrence to local emergency rooms-in all its forms.

"Emergency departments throughout the county witness firsthand the impact of addiction," said Caren Kosal, RN, manager of McLaren Macomb's emergency department. "So much work has begun and it's inspiring to see local organizations leading this change."

Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a Fraser-based community organization and the product of a local meeting held in 2007- the year its city saw 30 heroin overdoses- is determined to impact significant change.

"While there is still work to be done, you can already see the impact the group is having," said Judge Linda Davis of 41-B District Court in Clinton Township and president of FAN. "Our goals are realistic, in that we would like to build a comprehensive program to treat addiction from the early stages to recovery and beyond."

As a result of FAN's efforts through its community program Operation RX, first responders now carry Narcan, (a medication used to reverse the effects of an overdose), partnerships have been established with local hospitals - including McLaren Macomb - to establish a standardized protocol to prevent duplicating prescriptions and educating the community on all levels- parents, students, teachers, doctors, first responders-to change how addiction is seen and treated. Says Judge Davis, "It takes a community."

Learn more about FAN and how you can help or get help by visiting familiesagainstnarcotics.org.