Judge Linda Davis speaking in the U.P.
HOUGHTON — September has been declared Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to an MDHHS release. They are joining with community networks to celebrate recovery and raise awareness of recovery-oriented systems of care working to prevent and treat substance use disorders in Michigan. Although MDHHS and Whitmer have not yet disclosed how they will assist in raising awareness, there are plenty of organizations in the western Upper Peninsula that already begun to task of raising awareness.
In recognition of Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month, Gail Ploe project director of FACE (Facing Addiction Through Community Engagement), with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Dept (WUPHD), has announced that Judge Linda Davis will be speaking throughout the U.P. this month.
Judge Davis was known for her tough sentences on people who used drugs, states her bio. Then her daughter, a student and athlete, got hurt at age 17 and needed knee surgery. She was prescribed opioid painkillers, and over time that led to heroin use. With her addiction spiraling out of control, her daughter told Judge Davis late one night:
“Mom, I’m a heroin addict. I need help.”
“Judge Davis’ story is a powerful example that addiction does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone,” said Ploe. “We know that COVID-19 has only increased substance misuse. This event is a chance to talk about solutions, and what we can do in our communities to address addiction.”
Since then, Davis has become an advocate for people with addiction. She served on multiple opioid-related task forces, helped start Families Against Narcotics (FAN), and is involved in drug treatment court. She has received a number of awards, including:
– Macomb Community College Outstanding Alumna Award
– Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals President’s Award
– Macomb Bar Distinguished Public Service Award
– Macomb County Humanitarian of the Year Award
Since FAN’s beginnings in 2008, it has grown to a statewide support and education network, with 22 chapters in Michigan and beyond. Davis also spearheaded partnerships with police through “Hope Not Handcuffs” to connect those struggling with treatment rather than penalties. She has learned a lot about the topic of addiction and the stigma surrounding it in her career.
Davis will be speaking at various venues across the UP about addiction and the role that loved ones play in recovery.
“She will be visiting multiple counties here in the Upper Peninsula to share her personal and professional story,” said Ploe.
The FACE consortium invites community members, law enforcement, EMS, treatment providers, those dealing with addiction and their friends and family to attend:
– Sept. 20 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Ojibwa Community College Gym in Baraga.
– Sept. 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Glad Tidings Fellowship Hall in Hancock.
This event is funded by an R-CORP grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration. The FACE consortium is led by the Western UP Health Department, with partners Dial Help, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. For more information about the event, reach out to Ploe at 906-482-7382 ext.103 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find resources for people with addiction and their loved ones at www.906face.com.