News & Press

Community Wellness: Family's Tragedy is Turning Out for Good

Community Wellness: Family's Tragedy is Turning Out for Good

October 10, 2016


By Robert Lathers, LMSW / CEO, The Right Door For Hope, Recovery and Wellness


Linda Davis, a Macomb County mom, was in her room packing for a trip. She heard her 17-year-old daughter crying and went to investigate. What happened next became a long and painful three-year journey to help her athletic, straight-A student-daughter recover from the nightmare of opioid/heroin addiction.

But, as the story goes, Linda Davis wasn’t just any mom. She was an influential and extremely articulate Macomb County judge, who put everything on the line to help her daughter, who over a few years ended up going from one detox/rehab facility to another, repeatedly relapsing. Linda stood by her daughter, not only as her mom, but as her leading support and advocate. Then Linda took it one step farther: she decided to start “Families Against Narcotics (FAN)” in Macomb County. In a few short years FAN has now grown to 20 chapters. Linda was appointed last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Task Force, co-led by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

Many similar stories like the Davis’ family story are playing out across the country in urban and in rural areas, including our own Ionia and Montcalm counties. The opiod/heroin addiction has become one of our country’s major public health epidemics. Families and friends and communities find themselves almost exhausted looking for solutions to this problem. One thing that appears to be working though is the Families Against Narcotics (FAN) movement. Judge Davis was interviewed by Fox 17 News on Tuesday in Grand Rapids, where she shared how recovery can be a long involved process. “When we have cancer, we do chemotherapy, radiation, and then you go back for physical therapy sometimes, and you do all kinds of follow-up visits to the doctor to make sure your cancer isn’t reoccurring. But with addiction we want to treat it one time and send you back home and think that you are going to make it, and it’s unrealistic.”

Judge Davis is scheduled to appear and speak at the first Ionia/Montcalm Families Against Narcotics (I/M FAN) Recovery Fair to be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m.-noon. The event is hosted by the I/M FAN Steering Committee and co-sponsored by Ionia County Substance Abuse Initiative and The Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness. Judge Suzanne Hoseth-Kreeger will facilitate the event, which will take place at The Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness at 375 Apple Tree Drive in Ionia. This event is free and the public is encouraged to attend in order to learn more about this epidemic and how we can solve it together.

— Robert Lathers, LMSW, is the CEO of The Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness, formerly Ionia County Community Mental Health. His email address is He welcomes your comments and questions. If you have a mental health emergency, call 911 or our 24-hour crisis line at 1-888-527-1790. Visit The Right Door online at and find us on Facebook. The Right Door in Ionia is now open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.