Daily Briefs

Families Against Narcotics launching Hope Not Handcuffs initiative at Oakland University

Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a Macomb County-based nonprofit organization founded in 2007, is teaming up with the Oakland University Police Department to bring hope to people who struggle with a substance use disorder and want to find recovery.

Since launching in February of 2017, FAN’s Hope Not Handcuffs program has compassionately connected more than 8,100 people statewide with the resources necessary to find recovery from addiction. On Friday, September 30, the Oakland University Police Department will become the 122nd law enforcement agency/community partner in Michigan—and the 5th college or university—to collaborate with FAN on this initiative.

Agencies that have implemented the Hope Not Handcuffs program assist FAN’s efforts to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce their dependence on prescription medications, heroin, alcohol, or other drugs. The concept is simple: any person who is battling a substance use disorder can go to any Hope Not Handcuffs-affiliated police department or community partner and ask for help. They will be greeted with support, compassion, and respect, and one of FAN’s trained volunteer “Angels” will provide them with resources and guide them through a brief intake process to help them get the treatment they need and deserve.

Hope Not Handcuffs also provides trained and certified peer recovery coaches for the individuals who participate in the program, as well as family recovery coaches for family members or loved ones. The goal is to help everyone who’s been affected by the disease of addiction find recovery.

Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon is happy to have Hope Not Handcuffs launching in his department. “We are excited about our new partnership with Families Against Narcotics, which brings hope and recovery to those in our community who may have substance use disorder challenges,” Gordon declared. “The Hope Not Handcuffs program provides a proactive approach to our campus that offers alternative assistance outside the criminal justice arena. If just one person can benefit from this program, we will consider it a success.”

FAN’s executive director, Linda Davis, is also thrilled to have Hope Not Handcuffs being put into place at Oakland University. “Substance use disorder doesn’t discriminate,” she stated. “Providing an easy-to-access, compassionate conduit to assist students or university staff who may be looking for help is something that will make a difference in those people’s lives. We hope more universities across the state will partner with us going forward.”

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