Posted on Mar 17, 2021
Our presenter on March 17th was Lori Ziolkowski, the Regional Director of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of Families Against Narcotics (FAN).
There are two paths to addiction: (1) “Zero Entry Pool”, which can start with smoking, vaping, and then slowly escalates; and (2) “Cliff Dive”, where a person is given a prescription narcotic after an injury or surgery and then becomes addicted.    Since 1999, there have been over 450,000 opioid overdose deaths, with a 13% increase in 2020 over 2019.
FAN is helping to address substance abuse disorders through coaching, support, and education.  Coaching includes peer/family recovery where a person/family will provide assistance through their life experiences.  Support includes Hope Not Handcuffs that partners with police departments to find treatment centers for those requesting help and Comeback which provides post overdose wellness checks.  Education consists of Naloxone training and outreach to eliminate the stigma attached to those suffering from the disease.
Ms. Ziolkowski founded the Great Lakes Bay Region chapter of FAN after her daughter, whom she describes as athletic, beautiful, smart, and funny, became a heroin addict in high school.  She is now in her fifth year of recovery. 
As stated by a former Surgeon General – “addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing.”