SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (1/14/2020) - "Everywhere we looked, no one had an answer to our questions - what do we do? what do we do? And, I felt hopeless. I'm a police officer, I'm supposed to have all those answers," Sgt. Doug Chapman, with the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office, said.
He lost his stepdaughter, Meghan, to a heroin overdose October 30, 2016.
He told ABC12 Meghan's addiction started when she was prescribed pain medication after getting her wisdom teeth removed.
"It's just a tremendous shock because we - you would've never pictured her with a needle in her arm, right? Never. Never," he said.
After she passed, Sgt. Chapman ended up at a Families Against Narcotics, or FAN, meeting in Ingham County. The support group offers resources to families who have a loved one struggling with any kind of addiction. They can also help the person struggling.
"It's always been something that I thought would be very important. It's just a lot of time," Sgt. Chapman explained.
But, he got together with Judge Matt Stewart who runs the County's drug court program. And together, they're starting their own FAN chapter in Shiawassee County. The first meeting is Thursday, January 16th.
"The main thing is we're going to be able to help people not involved in the criminal justice system," Sgt. Chapman said. "And really, we want to help them at that level, so they're not involved in the criminal justice system. Maybe we can get 'em help before it gets there."
Providing the answers he knows they're searching for.
"I'm getting out there because I'm in a position where I can," Sgt. Chapman said. "And, I need to. It's just something I've gotta do for the community, do all we can to help."
The meetings will be every 3rd Thursday of the month at Owosso High School. Anyone is welcome to attend.
This volunteer organization has started up in 20 other counties across Michigan over the last several years.