Drug diversion program clears one hurdle


Pictured at the announcement of the drug diversion program were (left to right): David Portuesi, assistant prosecuting attorney; Dunya Barash, FAN director of operations; State Sen. Michael D. MacDonald; Linda Davis, FAN executive director; and Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido.
(Photo courtesy of the prosecutor’s office)

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners Records and Public Safety Committee recently gave initial approval to a $1.2 million prosecutor’s office budget amendment to accept grant funds to participate in Families Against Narcotics’ drug diversion programs.

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido and Families Against Narcotics (FAN) Executive Director Linda Davis announced the drug diversion partnership earlier this month.

The goal is to reduce drug-related crimes and overdose deaths by offering people who may have committed a minor, nonviolent, drug-related, or drug-induced offense a referral to treatment and a continuum of care instead of arrest and prosecution of criminal charges.

The prosecutor’s office will work with FAN to create a new Substance Use Disorder Pre-Arrest Diversion Program “REDIRECT”.

“If we hope to change the cycle of drugs and crime, then we in law enforcement cannot continue to do the same thing in every case,” said Lucido. “Prevention and diversion are important tools in the law enforcement toolbox for appropriate nonviolent cases.”

Under the partnership, FAN will provide a continuum of care for 12 months after enrollment into REDIRECT to provide a range of supportive services. REDIRECT will give participants treatment rather than a jail sentence. FAN’s peer recovery coaches will work closely with program participants as well as their family members to ensure there are no violations for one year. REDIRECT will also assist participants in accessing sober living and preparing for and finding employment.

FAN is approaching police departments of Clinton Township, Fraser, Roseville, Sterling Heights and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department regarding the REDIRECT program.

It is hoped the program will be available countywide next year, officials said.

Families Against Narcotics received a $1.2 million federal Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. The prosecutor’s office would be a “sub-recipient” of FAN for part of it. The program was expected to continue through September 2024.

The board of commissioners was scheduled to consider the proposal for final approval at its Feb. 24 meeting.

Founded in 2007, Families Against Narcotics (FAN) is a nonprofit organization based in Macomb County that works to educate communities statewide about addiction, dispel the stigma associated with the disease and compassionately support and assist those affected by it.


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