Mich. deputy, recovering drug addict partner for 'Law and Disorder’ podcast

The podcast acts as a community outreach tool and provides an anonymous way for listeners to learn about addiction recovery and resources

Winter Keefer

LAPEER, Mich. — When Joe Davis, a Lapeer County deputy, and Tim Galbraith, a recovering addict, met at a Families Against Narcotics meeting, they were drawn together under a common goal.

They both wanted to help prevent addiction and provide resources to those in recovery.

Tim Galbraith (left) and Joe Davis record an episode of their new podcast
Tim Galbraith (left) and Joe Davis record an episode of their new podcast "Law & Disorder." (Photo/TNS)

Less than two months later, the two launched the first episode of their podcast, “Law and Disorder,” which has received attention from across the world.

In the podcast, Davis represents “law” and Galbraith represents “disorder.” The pair have produced seven episodes since the first aired Dec. 29. Some episodes feature special guests, including recovering addicts and family members of those facing addiction.

Davis has been a deputy with Lapeer County for 17 years. Prior to his career in law enforcement, he said he joined the Army at 18 and was stationed in Germany for four years. Community outreach is part of the job of a local deputy, Davis said, so he serves as a Families Against Narcotics (FAN) board member.

Galbraith is the director of The Golden Arrow, a peer-run resource center for people with mental illness. He also writes a weekly column for the Lapeer-area newspaper Tri-City Times.

After Galbraith was arrested in October of 2018 for cocaine possession, he was placed in drug court and court-ordered to attend FAN meetings.

As partners who face addiction from “opposite spectrums," Davis said, he and Galbraith create a unique experience for listeners.

“Within FAN, the biggest hurdle is getting people in the door who need the help,” Davis said. “They’re fighting embarrassment and sort of shame to go to a public meeting and somewhat be exposed. I mean, that’s a big hurdle.”

The podcast allows people to tune in anonymously and learn about addiction recovery and available resources, he said. Special guests sharing their experiences help people “really understand addiction and recovery.”

Podcast playback data shows the show has had listeners from throughout the country and beyond including hits in The Netherlands, El Salvador, Germany and beyond, Davis said.

“It kind of exploded on us before we expected,” Davis said of the podcast’s following. Improvements to audio quality have been implemented since the first episode, he added.

Galbraith said he started using drugs at 14. He stopped using at 39 and has stayed sober for over six months. Peer pressure led him to first start using drugs but after he was prescribed pain medication for a knee sprain at age 24, he turned to opioids, “opioids being my drug of choice and the single-most destructive substance in my life.”

Opioids are a class of drug used to reduce pain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include prescription drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and methadone, along with illegal illicit drugs such as heroin.

“So that’s 25 years of substance abuse with maybe some brief stretches of sobriety, during which I was kind of a dry drunk," he said. "I wasn’t really embracing recovery in a way that I needed to in order to change my life. Drug court has helped me do that. It’s kind of the external accountability coupled with just being sick and tired of being sick and tired, as they say. It’s helped me to turn this ship around pretty quickly here. ”

In addition to working on the podcast with Davis, Galbraith said they have been able to visit schools and talk to students about addiction.

“Law and Disorder” is available to stream or download on most podcast apps and audio providers.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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