The Otsego County chapter of Families Against Narcotics began in early 2020 through the efforts of community members wanting to address some of the problems being experienced as a result of drugs and drug overdoses in the community. After moving to Gaylord in 2018, Chris and Linda Ulewicz approached members of the Otsego County Drug-Free Coalition to discuss the possibility of starting a FAN chapter in Otsego County. Several years earlier, when they learned that their college student son was addicted to heroin, they received help and support through the Macomb FAN Chapter. Their son has been in recovery for several years, recently graduated from college, and is attending law school. The Ulewiczes wanted to offer their help to others who might find themselves in the same situation they were in just a few years earlier. Through one couple’s experience with Families Against Narcotics, and their willingness to reach out and offer help to other families faced with the struggles that accompany addiction, FAN Otsego County was born.
In late 2019, a public town hall meeting was held to introduce the concept of FAN to the community. A panel provided personal stories and information about addiction, recovery, and resources available in the area. The response from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive so a plan was made to move forward and establish a local FAN Chapter.
Our monthly FAN Forums raise awareness about the problem with illegal drugs in our community, provide information related to substance use disorder (SUD), and share resources available for those seeking recovery. We provide community education to reduce the stigma related to SUD, and provide support to the family members who want to help their loved one struggling with addiction. Everyone is invited to our monthly forums to experience the hope that can be found through Families Against Narcotics.
Sheriff Matt Nowicki