According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 65,000 Americans died in 2016 of a drug overdose, and that number is on the rise year after year. When it comes to addiction, things have gotten so bad that the country now officially has an opioid crisis. The staff, faculty, and students from Ross Medical Education Center in New Baltimore, Michigan wanted to see what they could do to help. “Addiction has impacted my family’s lives since I was younger,” said Campus Director Jennifer Maniaci. “This direct impact has grown a passion inside of me to understand it better and to do my part to help other families that are also directly impacted. That is why for our community event, we chose the Run Drugs Out of Town run/walk hosted by Families Against Narcotics.”
Addiction is something that not only affects the addict but has a direct impact on the addict’s family and closest friends. There are always issues of enabling, codependency, and other underlying psychological issues that affect the family of an addict. It’s very important for those who have had addiction in their family to seek help, and organizations like Families Against Narcotics provide that help and support for those people. Families Against Narcotics has been a resource for some families for many years. They hold monthly meetings allowing family members of addicts to join in and relate to each other through story-telling. Hearing others’ stories of recovery gives those in the trenches of addiction hope for better days.
Families Against Narcotics was born out of a town hall meeting that was initiated in 2007 as a result of two teen heroin overdoses just weeks apart in Fraser, MI. Over the years the organization has grown to 20 active chapters in the state of Michigan and one in the state of North Carolina. Not only do they provide help and support for families impacted by addiction they also give speeches to kids, foster relationships for people in recovery, provide meals for people in halfway houses and have recently partnered with the 41B District Drug Court in Macomb County to assist young people in the court systems who seek recovery.
On June 18th 2018, Families Against Narcotics hosted its yearly Run Drugs out of Town run/walk at Fraser High School. Campus Director Jennifer Maniaci and Dental Assistant program instructor Noreen Bischoff volunteered their time to set up water tables and fruit/snack tables for the runners at the event. They were also able to sponsor the event and give each runner a Ross pen in their bag. It was a great experience to be part of the recovery community and to speak to so many people who have also been directly affected by addiction. Mrs. Bischoff stated, “I was shocked at the number of people that are impacted by addiction, and not just the addicts but the families. I was also taken back by the fact that addiction has had an impact on all different types of people regardless of age and other demographics.”
The Families Against Narcotics website has a quote that is very true: “Out of despair came a ray of hope.” If you or anyone you know has been affected by addiction in anyway please reach out to organizations like Families Against Narcotics to help you find hope in your despair.