FANmail for the Week of 5/20/24

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to its length, this newsletter may be cut short by your email program. If so, please click on the "View Entire Message" (or similarly worded) link that appears at the bottom of this email.

FAN Friends & Family,

Just a reminder that the May Macomb FAN Forum happens THIS TUESDAY, May 21st, at 7:00 pm at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Sterling Heights--and it's going to be a good one!

Come out and join us as professional musician and peer recovery coach Chris Tait speaks about "Music as a Pathway to Recovery." Whether you play music or just enjoy listening to it, you'll learn how it can help shape our experiences, as well as the benefits it can provide as a supplement to any pathway of recovery. There will also be a free Narcan training prior to the forum (at 5:45 pm). Plus, free pizza from Green Lantern, courtesy of Skywood Recovery. For more info, scroll down to the "Upcoming Forums" section of this newsletter. All are welcome! See you on Tuesday!

FAN Joins Partnership for Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative

FAN has partnered with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on the Michigan Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) Initiative. The RFW initiative is a free, 4-part training that covers: Understanding Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Use Disorder, Stigma, and Recovery; Navigating SUD Concerns; Building a Supportive Workplace; and Accessing Resources and Linking to Your Community. FAN's Community Education Director, Madie Tortomasi, provides the "Understanding Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Use Disorder, Stigma, and Recovery" training and assists with naloxone training and distribution of naloxone to businesses. Recovery Friendly Workplaces support their communities by recognizing recovery from substance use disorder/opioid use disorder as a strength, and by being willing to work intentionally with people in recovery. For more information, visit or check out this FAQ sheet.

Please Help Us by Taking a Community Needs Assessment Survey

As part of our work for the National Institutes of Health’s ComPASS grant, FAN is conducting a statewide health assessment in partnership with the Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University. We asking for approximately 10 minutes of your time to complete an anonymous online survey, which you can access by clicking the button below. The survey's purpose is to get a better understanding of behavioral health and substance use needs across the state, so your input is critical. FAN will use survey findings to inform the direction of a boundary-spanning intervention. Thank you so much for your contributions to this important effort!

Take the Survey

FAN Attends UFAM Rally in Lansing

Last Thursday, several members of the FAN team attended the Unite to Face Addiction Michigan (UFAM) rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.


FAN Executive Director Speaks Out About Drug Paraphernalia Laws

Last Monday, FAN Executive Director Linda Davis was interviewed by CBS Detroit about how drug paraphernalia laws in Michigan are creating barriers to some substance use disorder treatment programs. Because "every community has a different really prohibits a lot of harm reduction devices like clean syringes," Davis told reporter Gino Vicci. She went on to say that clean syringes also help prevent the spread of hepatitis and HIV. Davis added that she's not asking local governments to get rid of the laws, only to make the necessary changes so that organizations like FAN can provide help to people who need it. You can watch the entire interview at THIS LINK. FAN and our Harmless harm reduction support team were also mentioned in a Detroit Free Press article entitled "Community Ordinances Are Clashing with Michigan's Drug Harm Reduction Strategy," which you can read HERE.

Grand Rapids TV Station Covers Ionia County HNH Launches

On Thursday, FAN's Hope Not Handcuffs program launched in three law enforcement agencies Ionia County--the Ionia County Sheriff's Office and the Belding and Portland police departments--and Grand Rapids TV station WOOD reported the story and explained how the program works. "Now, Ionia County residents who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse can walk into a participating agency...and ask for help. A trained FAN volunteer, known as an 'angel,' will meet them, help them get treatment, and connect them with peer support services." You can watch the news story at THIS LINK.


Please be advised that these stories may include photos or descriptions of addiction, using drugs, overdoses, or other things that could be a trigger for some people.

U.S. Drug Deaths Decline Slightly in 2023, but Top 100,000 for Third Straight Year

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a 3% decrease in fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2023, marking a notable change from previous years, which were dominated by a surge in deaths due to street fentanyl and other toxic synthetic drugs. Despite this improvement, the toll remains devastatingly high, with the CDC projecting 107,543 lives lost to overdoses last year. The shift from plant-based drugs to synthetic ones, particularly fentanyl, continues to drive the crisis, with law enforcement seizing more than 115 million fake pills in 2023 alone. While some states saw declines in drug deaths, others experienced increases, highlighting the uneven progress in combating the crisis. The CDC’s chief medical officer said that "progress over the last 12 months should make us want to reinvigorate our efforts knowing that our strategies are making a difference." Learn more about the latest overdose statistics at THIS LINK.

More Companies Are Adopting Policies to Support Employees Recovering from Addiction

With nearly 50 million Americans affected, untreated addiction at work leads to turnover, absenteeism, and increased healthcare costs. But initiatives like New Hampshire's Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) program provide resources and training for businesses to become more recovery-friendly. The RFW movement is also expanding nationally, thanks to a push from the federal government. Because people spend most of their time at work, Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of Drug Control Policy at the White House, says workplaces are in a unique position to support their employees’ recovery. An article on the Marketplace website spotlights Genfoot, a New Hampshire shoe manufacturer, and how they are making a difference in people’s lives. The company offers support mechanisms ranging from flexible schedules for treatment appointments to fostering open dialogue around addiction. Read more about the RFW trend HERE. (And be sure to read about the Michigan Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative that FAN's a part of earlier on in this newsletter!)

Sober Minded: Why Young Americans Are Abstaining from Alcohol

A story in the Deseret News explores the shifting attitudes towards alcohol consumption among young people in the United States, tracing historical perspectives and recent trends. Data indicates a significant decline in drinking among adults aged 18 to 34 over the past two decades, influenced by factors such as health consciousness and fear of social media scrutiny. Research that highlights the adverse effects of alcohol consumption has contributed to this change, as have broader cultural shifts towards mindfulness and personal choice in the pursuit of overall well-being. But the decline in alcohol consumption also raises questions about social connections and community hubs traditionally associated with drinking establishments. As Americans navigate new ways of socializing, the need for balance between health-conscious decisions and maintaining social connections becomes important. Explore more about young Americans’ evolving relationship with alcohol  at THIS LINK.

More Stories of Interest

Michigan doctor sentenced to 12 years for distributing opioid pills worth more than $6M (USA Today)

Counterfeit fentanyl pills are becoming a lot more common in law enforcement seizures (NPR)

Life After Addiction with Tim Stoddart: How He Went From Rock Bottom to Launching a 7-Figure Business (Entrepreneur)

I Had Cancer. My Treatment Was Eye-Opening About Addiction (Newsweek)

Video: Patrick J. Kennedy works to reduce stigma around mental health, substance use with new book (CBS News)

Congress: Close Medicare's dangerous gaps in coverage for addiction treatment (STAT)

SF Program Isn’t Just ‘Free Beer’ for Unhoused. It’s Backed Up by Research (KQED)

Scientists discover surprising details about xylazine in combination with fentanyl (Medical Xpress)

Is it right to force someone into rehab? The man whose life inspired a landmark law (The Guardian)

Teenage users of high-THC cannabis varieties twice as likely to experience psychotic episodes (Medical Xpress)

Binge drinking is a growing public health crisis − a neurobiologist explains how research on alcohol use disorder has shifted (The Conversation US)

Mindfulness training reduces dropout rates and relapses in opioid addiction treatment (News-Medical.Net)

‘A complete 180’: how a trial treatment in Sydney for heroin addiction is changing lives (The Guardian)

Anne Lamott on love, sobriety and reaching 70: ‘All I’ve learned, I’ve learned because the abyss swallowed me’ (The Guardian)

Man to run in 100-mile marathon to help others find sobriety (News Channel 5 Nashville)


FAN's naloxone training and Hope Not Handcuffs Angel training sessions take place on an ongoing basis, as do our Stronger Together family and friends support group meetings and Yoga for Recovery classes. You'll find more about all of these programs, including links to schedules, below.

Be prepared to save a life. FAN's free naloxone training will teach you how to properly administer this safe drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. These 1-hour sessions are offered both in-person and virtually, and all attendees will receive a FREE naloxone kit containing 2 doses of NARCAN® nasal spray. For more information and registration, go to the link below.

Click for Upcoming Naloxone Training Sessions

Our Hope Not Handcuffs program needs volunteers now more than ever to help us make a difference! Take our free training (in-person or virtual), become an Angel, and help people who are struggling with substance use disorder get started on the road to recovery. You can make a huge difference in someone's life! Being an Angel has never been easier, the hours are flexible, and the work is incredibly rewarding, so please consider volunteering! To find out more, or to register for a class, go to the link below.

Click for Upcoming Angel Training Sessions

Held both in-person and virtually, FAN's Stronger Together family and friends support group meetings will help you learn to support your loved one who is struggling with addiction in a way that is healthy for both of you. You’ll benefit from the encouragement and experience of other families and individuals facing similar circumstances, and be able to move from a life of chaos and despair to a life of joy and purpose. For a complete listing of meetings--including those designed for specific groups of people (grandparents, young adults, etc.)--go to the link below.

Click for Upcoming Stronger Together Meetings

Incorporating yoga into your life or recovery journey can be a powerful tool for healing and self-discovery. That's why FAN is pleased to offer FREE Yoga for Recovery classes on various days, at various times, and in various locations. These classes are for individuals and family members in recovery, or anybody who is interested in practicing some self-care. Yoga mats and water are provided, and all levels of participants are welcome--no previous yoga experience is required! Class sizes are limited, so people are urged to sign up early. For more information on dates, times, and locations, or to register, visit the links below.

Click for Upcoming Yoga for Recovery Classes (Macomb FAN)

Click for Upcoming Yoga for Recovery Classes (Northwest Wayne FAN)

Click for Upcoming Yoga for Recovery Classes (Washtenaw FAN)

Recovery Dharma uses the Buddhist practices of meditation, self-inquiry, wisdom, compassion, and community as tools for recovery and healing. The program welcomes anyone who is looking to heal from addiction and addictive behavior, whether it's caused by substance use or process addictions like codependency, gambling, eating disorders, relationships, technology, or any obsessive or habitual pattern that creates suffering. Come check out Recovery Dharma at the FAN office--located at 43800 Garfield Rd., Suite 200, in Clinton Township--on Saturdays at 11:00 am. It's free and no registration is required. For more information, check out THIS FLYER or visit

Would you like to help us help others? If so, please feel free to click here to make a donation--large or small--to FAN. We can always use your assistance! And for an overview of all the programs FAN offers, click HERE. (Families Against Narcotics is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, #26-2302028.)


FAN Forums are open to the entire community as a resource for navigating substance use disorder, and are truly a place to learn, listen, grow, and share. Watch this space for upcoming forums!

Tuesday, May 21st, at 7:00 pm: MACOMB FAN IN-PERSON FORUM (Free naloxone training prior to forum at 5:45 pm.) Location: St. Michael's Catholic Church, 40501 Hayes Rd., Sterling Heights, MI 48313. Topic: "Music as a Pathway to Recovery." The May Macomb FAN Forum will focus on music and the key role it can play in recovery. Join us as professional musician, peer recovery coach, and FAN advocate Chris Tait talks about how music helps to shape our experiences, as well as the benefits of music as a supplement to any pathway of recovery. He'll even entertain us with a few tunes! Chris has been with the Detroit band Electric Six as a composer and performer for more than two decades, and was a freelance curator for Apple Music before moving back to Detroit to start Passenger Recovery--a Recovery Community Organization in Hamtramck that uses music and the arts as tools for recovery. We hope you can make it out to this insightful and educational FAN Forum. All are welcome, so bring your family and friends! Food (pizza from Green Lantern) will be provided compliments of Skywood Recovery.

REMINDER: Our monthly Macomb FAN Forums are now taking place at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Sterling Heights! Location information HERE.


Prior to the FAN Forum, at 5:45 pm, there will be a free naloxone training. The class includes a free naloxone kit, with 2 doses of NARCAN® nasal spray. To register for this training session, go to THIS LINK.

Monday, June 3rd, at 6:00 pm: NORTHWEST WAYNE FAN IN-PERSON / VIRTUAL FORUM (Free naloxone training prior to forum at 5:30 pm.) Location: Hype Recreation Center of Western Wayne, 4635 Howe Rd., Wayne, MI 48184Topic: "Recover with a Clean Slate! Legal Update and Expungement Fair." At this forum, you will hear experts from the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) explain the new, more expansive rules in Michigan for expunging a person’s criminal record. In addition, SEMCA staff will begin the process of expunging the criminal records of attendees whose convictions are eligible for expungement at NO COST to the attendees as part of the WayneLINC Clean Slate Expungement Program.

  • Only Wayne County residents are eligible for expungement assistance through SEMCA.
  • SEMCA will assist with eligible convictions throughout the state of Michigan.
  • SEMCA will take eligible participants through the entire Clean Slate process: from program application through the hearing and removal of conviction.
  • Prescreening must be done in advance of the June 3rd forum to determine conviction eligibility.

To determine expungement eligibility, YOU MUST BE PRE-SCREENED by completing a screening questionnaire at You can access the screening tool at THIS LINK. (Put FAN on the line asking who referred you.)

Come learn and grow with Northwest Wayne FAN! Refreshments will be provided. For more information, see THIS FLYER. Note: If you can't attend in person, you can watch this forum live via the Northwest Wayne FAN Facebook page.


Prior to the FAN Forum, at 5:30 pm, there will be a free naloxone training. The class includes a free naloxone kit, with 2 doses of NARCAN® nasal spray.



We are incredibly excited that FAN's 16th annual Run Drugs Out of Town (RDOT) 5K Run/Walk will be taking place on Sunday, June 30th, at Jimmy John's Field, located at 7171 Auburn Road in Utica! The opening ceremonies and start of the race will happen inside the stadium, then the runners and walkers will head out to a 5K course that will go through the beautifully wooded and scenic biking/hiking trail off Auburn Road and into River's Bend Park. The run/walk will then finish back at home plate. (You can download the course map HERE.)

RDOT is a beloved community event and one of the largest runs in Macomb County. Each year, men, women, and children of all ages come out to support a common cause: to increase awareness of substance use disorder and help raise money to fund the many programs FAN provides to the public at no cost.

This fun, family-friendly event not only offers a 5K run and non-competitive walk, but also features vendors, music, teams honoring loved ones, and a heart-warming opening ceremony. Whether you run or walk as an individual or a team, sponsor the event, or simply make a donation, you will be helping FAN make a positive impact on those who have been affected by the disease of addiction. Be a force for change. Be part of the solution. Join FAN at Run Drugs Out of Town! For more information, registration, or sponsorships, go to THIS LINK. To download the event flyer/poster, CLICK HERE. You can also sign up to VOLUNTEER.


Freddy's Bar & Grill in Clinton Township has been a longtime supporter of FAN and we're thrilled that they asked us to partner with them for the latest run of their Jack of Spades Raffle. Every Tuesday, beginning at 6:00 pm, you can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes. And the best part? Part of the proceeds from ticket sales go to benefit FAN! The drawing happens at 8:00 pm. Pull the jack of spades and win the jackpot! Pull a joker and win $100! There's also a bonus drawing every Tuesday for a $100 Freddy's gift card! So, head on over to Freddy's on Tuesdays for great food and drink, live music, and the Jack of Spades Raffle! Freddy's is located at 40000 Garfield Road in Clinton Township. Visit their website or check them out on Facebook.


Families Against Narcotics is hiring! We currently have an opening for a full-time Support Coordinator for our Harmless harm reduction support team. This is a great opportunity to be part of an incredible team that helps people every single day. This job comes with benefits, including health, dental, and vision insurance; paid time off; matching 401(k); and more. For more information on this position, including specific duties and how to apply, please visit the Jobs page on our website.


Families Against Narcotics would not exist without the help of the amazing volunteers who devote their time and effort to making our programs and events successful. We have lots of volunteer opportunities available, including things like helping us prepare for our upcoming Run Drugs Out of Town 5K; assisting with our Hope Not Handcuffs program; assembling naloxone, comfort, and safe-use kits; and manning informational tables at community events. We also need people to cook Sunday dinners for residents of area sober living homes. Everyone has skills that can help FAN do what it does! To find out more about how you can make a difference, or to sign up, go to THIS LINK.


Tomorrow a Better Day is a grief support group for families that have lost a loved one to addiction. This group meets twice a month--on the 1st and 3rd Thursday at 6:30 pm--and helps individuals cope with loss and the life changes it brings. Meetings take place at St. Ronald Catholic Church, 17701 15 Mile Road, Clinton Township. For more information contact Terri Braden at 586-246-4355.

Families Anonymous (FA) provides group support services to families and friends of people struggling with addiction. It is a 12-step fellowship for families and friends who have experienced a feeling of desperation. This FA group meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm at St. Ronald Catholic Church, 17701 15 Mile Road, Clinton Township. For more information, contact Dee Sarosy at 586-549-0747.

FAN Can Always Use Your Financial Assistance.
Click Here to Donate to FAN

Stay Connected with Us

Learn More
Facebook  Instagram  X  Linkedin  TikTok  YouTube

Families Against Narcotics | 586-438-8500 | Email | Website