Woman has helped hundreds battle addiction with recovery programs after losing son to overdose

"I have told so many people - you are worthy of recovery," said Pam Blair.

Since 2018 Blair has helped close to 400 people get into treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

The Oakland County mom lost her son, Justin, to an overdose in 2017. He was 23 Tuesday would be his 27th birthday.

"I always tell people addiction does not discriminate," Blair said. "Every person that I help get into treatment,  every person that I educate, I feel a connection to my son."

She works with a program called Hope Not Handcuffs as well as Families Against Narcotics working with law enforcement to get people the treatment they need.

"If you show up at our substation and say, 'I've got an addiction problem - I need help,' the deputies will take you to a treatment facility," said Oakland County Sheriff Michal Bouchard.

Bouchard says more funding is needed to deal with this growing problem. He was instrumental in changing the law to allow officers to administer Narcan - and says they're doing so almost every day.

"At this point we've saved hundreds and hundreds of people from the overdose that was awaiting them if they didn't have Narcan in their patrol cars," Bouchard said.

Justin Blair died in 2017 to an overdose.

Justin Blair died in 2017 to an overdose.

The pandemic, the isolation, the job losses - all have contributed to an increase in addiction and overdoses - and Bouchard worries more are on the way.

"I got a brief about 43 percent increase in fentanyl crossing the southern border has already been noticed and documented which means what's in the pipeline is going to be hitting American cities with a flush of new,  deadly drugs," Bouchard said.

Pam Blair wants people to know - addiction is a disease - it's treatable - and there is always - hope.

"I always tell people - never give up - you are worthy of recovery and a better life," she said.

The number for the Hope Not Handcuffs hotline is 833-202-4673. For online resources, go to: