Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey

Dear Friends,
Mike Speakman, the founder of PAL used to say, when referring to an addicted loved one, “People don’t change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.”  It’s been nearly 115 degrees on occasion this month in Phoenix and that statement takes on new meaning. Not that I want to wish away the summer, but in Phoenix we look forward to fall and winter! 

PAL continues to grow and reach more and more families with a message of hope. If you attend a meeting, please take a minute to thank your facilitator for their incredible gift of time and effort to make meetings possible. If you have ever thought about facilitating, now is the time!  Be a back-up facilitator or start a new meeting and join nearly 300 current volunteers who truly get to see the amazing changes that PAL makes in the lives of others.
This summer we have our Share the Blessing Campaign taking place and thank you to those who have already been sending in their donations. We hope the opportunity to give back to your group is yet another incentive to participate. We also have our annual banquet coming on October 26th. Tickets will go on sale soon and we look forward to seeing you there!  We are planning on 500 guests this year and we have moved to a hotel venue to help accommodate our growth.  If you are not from Arizona, please think about coming and being a part of this event and enjoy some wonderful weather in late October.

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Codependency - Part 2
PAL  Blogger: 

by Ron Paterik

In my last blog post, I presented a definition of codependency and discussed the characteristics of this much talked about problem.  This month I will cover the causes of codependency.
Some of the primary causes of codependency are as follows:

  1. Inadequate Nurturing – Our need for approval, acceptance and love were not met due to family dysfunction.  Emotional unavailability, addiction, fractured communication, abuse, high conflict, an absentee parent or a parent with mental illness are a few examples of dysfunction in the home.
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PAL Has A Store 
Check It Out!
PAL is now selling shirts, mugs, and other swag online! Check it out and let us know what we should add! Items may be purchased to help promote PAL and share the great work PAL does.  The store is run by a third party and PAL receives a portion of the proceeds from all purchases.
Click here to see what’s for sale
There is Always Hope!
Parent Testimonial

I am the mother of three children, one son and twin daughters. All raised in the same house by the same parents. Out of my three children, one of my daughters and my son have a substance use disorder. My daughter used meth and fought with the disorder for three years. Then she was arrested and sent to prison for four years. During that time, my husband and I had custody of her two young children. I was so angry with her for disrupting all our lives—her children's, mine, and my husband’s. All our lives changed. While she was incarcerated, I prayed so many times for God to help me with my anger and to help me understand why she did what she did. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would choose drugs over their children. Slowly I started to see a change in both of us. She was going to a recovery group and learning her triggers. She was working in the prison and doing amazing, and our relationship blossomed again. The anger vanished.   

Then boom! I discovered my son was addicted to heroin. He was older and not living at home, so I think it took a lot longer for me to discover this. He couldn’t keep jobs, he lost his place to live, and stopped caring for his daughter. I felt like my whole world was turned upside down again. I just couldn’t understand how he could do that and why he couldn’t just stop.

Our church had a community forum and one of the speakers was a mother who told her story about her son and his heroin addiction. I sat there and cried through her entire story. After the forum, I talked with this wonderful caring lady who kept telling me “you are not alone” and “there is always hope.”

She told me about a support group called PAL. I couldn’t wait for next Thursday so I could attend the PAL meeting. I felt like I had been strong with my son. I refused to help him, or give him money, or even talk to him when he was high. I thought I already knew how not to enable him. What I learned at that first meeting was there is hope and I should not give up on him. I heard stories of people who had been on this journey a long time and some who still were on the journey.

Over the course of the past year and a half I have learned so much about substance use disorder. I know my children did not make the choice to become addicted, and I know they must fight each and every day against it. The education and support I have received from PAL have helped me to understand so much more than I ever would have on my own.

My daughter has been out of prison for over two years and she works every day. She lives with her children. She takes care of them on her own. She makes the right choices and has an amazing testimony. My son is currently receiving Methadone treatments daily and has been since December 2018. I have not seen much improvement in his delayed emotional growth, but thanks to PAL, I understand what that is, what that means, and that there is always hope!

A close friend and I have recently received facilitator training and started a new PAL group in hopes that we can help others as PAL has helped us. Those words “there is hope” still bring me peace and I have learned to once again find joy in my life despite my children’s addictions. Through PAL I have met so many wonderful people and I am privileged to call them pals. 

My prayer would be that no other parent has to go through this horrible nightmare called addiction with their children. I am so thankful to our Lord above that PAL is here and available to those who need it. I will do my part, as God leads me to do, to help with this in any way I can.

PAL mom

Mark Your Calendars - October 26, 2019
Tickets On Sale Soon
$50 per person - early bird discount until Sept 23rd
$450 - table of 10 - early bird discount until Sept 23rd

Watch for an email to announce ticket sales begin.

If you are interested in sponsoring the Hope Banquet
please email 

 If you are interested in volunteering for the banquet, please email
Please include your name and how you would like to help.
I was Born with the Disease of Addiction
PAL Blogger:
By Sean, In Recovery

      Christmas Eve, 2013. At 27 years old I thought my life was over. The past several years had been a whirlwind of destruction, chaos, illness, and hurt that I wanted to shut the door on but just couldn’t muster the strength to do so. I had alienated everyone who cared about me, used them up, burned every bridge. All in the desperate pursuit of oblivion through drugs, a quietude of my incessant, buzzing mind that had lit up with maddening, pinging thoughts and emotions during puberty. I was a hollow, broken young man, reduced to petty theft on the streets of central Phoenix to support my nagging physical dependency on IV heroin and methamphetamine. I was completely alone. The money and resources I had manipulated from my parents were long gone. The invitations to stay on friends’ couches who took pity on me had dried up, once they realized I couldn’t be trusted near their medicine cabinets and valuables. I was a leech on others’ emotional and financial good will. My condition had left me riddled with disease, mental and physical illness. Hepatitis. Valley Fever. Swollen abscesses. Infection. Pneumonia. Depression. Anxiety. A wellspring of trudging misery had enveloped me whole, all attributed to my relentless pursuit of chemical relief, my attempt to escape my hell of a reality by any means necessary. Over the holiday season of 2013, I was stuck in a perpetual loop of shacking up with drug dealers, using friends, staying in detoxes, institutions, halfway houses and hospitals. Essentially anywhere I could stay, I would. This particular Christmas found me back in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia, a side effect of my unhygienic, unhealthy lifestyle. How I ended up in such dire straits, and how those very same situations became my salvation began 12 years prior, at the age of 16.
            Looking back, I was never a casual user of drugs or alcohol. I firmly believe, sitting here today on the other side, that I was born with the disease of addiction. Nothing in my upbringing would have suggested the dark sequence of events that would come to be. I grew up in a solid Christian household with loving, law-abiding parents who provided for me. I did not want. I never worried about there being food on the table or being abused. But as far back as I can remember, I just couldn’t reconcile how I felt inside regarding myself. I felt uneasy in social situations. I felt an enduring darkness that permeated my thoughts, a kind of evil that lurked in the vast recesses of my mind, filled with negative self-talk and poor self-esteem. An emotional distance or disconnect with others. This combined with a pervasive selfishness, a calamity of thought processes that surrounded my own well-being, my own grandiose desires for my life, what I wanted, my hopes and dreams of celebrity or stardom, of being someone important. I found myself reaching, reaching for validation outside of myself. For gratification from others. Escaping through the fantasy of books, music, and film. Lost in worlds of imagination. I just wanted to be someone other than myself. This type of mindset combined with chemicals is a deadly combination. My first encounter with alcohol involved chugging a beer in 10 seconds flat at the age of 15 or 16. I had no interest in the taste or experience; I was strictly interested in the effect of intoxication. I experienced drunkenness and understood why people sought out the sensation but wasn’t floored by it. At approximately age 16, I took a single Percocet given to me by a friend. I had heard from others that they produced an intoxicating effect and instantly a desire to try this new substance had anchored firmly in my brain. Within 15 minutes of swallowing that pill, I had the first spiritual experience of my life. All the negative, encumbering thoughts of being less than others, the maddening speed at which my thoughts flew, the anxious worrying and complete lack of self-confidence were replaced with a warm, numbing, emerging glow of peace. Without a second of forethought, of what I may be getting myself into, I told myself that I would take this substance every day for the rest of my life. This was my solution to living. This was my answer to the human condition. My freedom from the bondage of self that I had so fruitlessly attempted to cast off before. The chains that bound me were broken that day and I felt as close to true happiness as a person could feel.

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Grief Recovery After Substance Passing - GRASP

Sadly, many of us know someone or have experienced the loss of a loved one to Substance Use Disorder.  Although they may have attended PAL or did not know about PAL before this happened, there are some resources to help. Although not associated with PAL, we generally refer people to GRASP.

Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) was created to offer understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost someone they love through addiction and overdose.  You can learn more at

Pay it Forward...
Share the Blessings
This year we have made some changes to the
Share the Blessings campaign and have taken
a bit of a different approach after receiving
feedback from facilitators and members. 

This year there is something in it for YOUR PAL meeting!

Ask your facilitator for more details.
August is our last month! Let's make it great!
PAL Awareness Week
August 23- 30, 2019

We are excited to celebrated PAL Awareness Week August 23-30! This is an amazing opportunity for PAL supporters to help spread the word in their communities to let people who are hurting know there is HOPE!

We need your to help to spread the PAL message!

Ask your facilitator how you can get involved.
Materials need to be requested by Wednesday, August 14 
to receive in time for PAL Awareness Week.

Your facilitator will receive an email with ALL the details 
PAL will go LIVE on Facebook this month!

Your questions will be answered via live stream on Facebook this month on Saturday, August 17th at 2pm by a panel of 3 speakers: a PAL mom, a PAL dad, and an addict in recovery.

This is a great opportunity to ask any question about PAL lessons, addiction/recovery, or any other topic you may have been wondering about.*

Please submit your questions to be answered LIVE on Facebook in to

See you there!!

* We will make every effort to answer every question submitted, but we may not get to all of them, as time permits.
Copyright © 2019 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.

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