By Sarah Shurge – “There isn’t another organization out there that does what we do. People need help more than ever and FAN is a way to get people help,” said Laura Mack, Secretary of the Northwest Wayne County Chapter of FAN.
Families Against Narcotics (FAN) has the mission to provide education, resources, and support to families and individuals impacted by addiction.
Addiction is a disease that doesn’t just affect the addicted, it also affects the family and friends. Many times, family members struggling with loved ones in active addiction tend to feel ashamed and alone.
FAN seeks to change the face of addiction and end the stigma of addiction, while educating the community, as well as those affected by addiction by creating positive change in the treatment of addiction.
The Northwest Wayne County FAN chapter was launched in March 2017.
The first Monday of every month, FAN puts on forums to spread information and offer a network of support to those affected by addiction. Experts and guest speakers speak on all aspects of addiction to help the families.
FAN started Hope Not Handcuffs with the mission to bring law enforcement and community organizations together in an effort to find treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce substance dependency.
The Wayne Police Department has been a participating agency in Hope Not Handcuffs since March 2021.
More people have come through the Wayne Police Department for Hope Not Handcuffs than any other location in Wayne County. The Wayne Police Department has embraced the program and promoted it on their marquee sign, which has brought people in as well.
During a press conference on Wednesday, February 15th, the Wayne Police Department announced its continued partnership with FAN with the launch of another program: FAN’s COMEBACK Quick Response Team (QRT). The QRT is a three-member team consisting of a plainclothes police officer, certified peer recovery coach, and family recovery coach. This team visits the homes of individuals impacted by substance use, who survived a non-fatal drug overdose, or who have had contact with law enforcement as a result of their substance use.
The team will offer resources such as: connection to inpatient and outpatient treatment services, peer and family recovery coaching services, naloxone/harm-reduction services, referrals to other community resources, and so much more.
“I am proud to continue our partnership with Families Against Narcotics by implementing the COMEBACK Quick Response Team at our department,” said Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong. “The QRT will allow us to get much-needed help for those affected by substance abuse. I firmly believe that this program will save lives.”
FAN’s COMEBACK QRT began in February 2020 and now operates out of more than 20 law enforcement agencies across the state. The City of Wayne will be the third police department in Wayne County to participate in the COMEBACK program.
To date, COMEBACK Quick Response Teams have made 4,198 home visits and offered resources and support to 1,927 families.
“I’m thrilled that we’re adding another Wayne County police department to the program,” said Linda Davis, FAN’s Executive Director.
For more information about the FAN’S COMEBACK Quick Response Team, you can visit comebackqrt.com. For more information about FAN, you can visit familiesagainstnarcotics.org.
If you are interested in getting involved, either by donating supplies for backpacks or bins for Hope Not Handcuff participants, or donating money, please contact email@example.com, or contact the current president Lauren Rousseau at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Backpacks are placed in bins at every participating police station. When someone comes through wanting help from Hope Not Handcuffs, they will be gifted with a backpack.
These backpacks are filled with personal care items like: toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size), shampoo and conditioner (travel size), deodorant, hard candy, granola bars, body wash/soap, face masks, hand sanitizer, bottled water, laminated card with local resources such as food pantries, donation centers, AA/NA meetings, etc.
You can also donate items that would not fit in the backpacks such as: sweat pants, sweatshirts, socks and small blankets.