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Dear Friends, 

I received a call a little over a week ago letting me know that the Maricopa County (AZ) Attorney’s Office was looking for parents / family members who would stand behind the County Attorney at a press conference. They were announcing a monumental settlement with the opioid industry, but despite the fact Maricopa County has 4.5 million residents, they were having a hard time finding people who would be on camera as someone who had been impacted by the opioid epidemic. I said of course I would come and asked if they wanted me to also speak on behalf of parents and families. They were thrilled, and even more delighted when I let them know my wife and both my sons wanted to come as well.

This was a major press conference, as they were announcing the first settlement with the opioid industry to a state. The state of Arizona will be receiving $580 million designated specifically to help those impacted by the opioid crisis, including supporting non-profits that deal with the issue. 

One thing stood out to me - the difficulty in getting parents and family members to stand up on camera. The stigma, shame, and embarrassment of having a family member with Substance Use Disorder continues. Until this ends and people see this disease for what it is, we will continue to be fighting an uphill battle.

Many years ago, driving while drinking was a topic for comedians and at most people might say something like, “that’s probably not a good idea.” In a similar fashion, domestic violence was considered a “family problem,” and when police responded to a call the practice was typically to just separate the parties and ask one to leave the home, even if the woman was obviously beaten and bruised.

A turning point in the public’s apathy about driving under the influence came when a group of moms put a face on the loss of life caused by DUI. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers came along and said, “no more.” Today, we don’t joke about DUI because we all know how dangerous it is and the heartbreak of the consequences. Likewise, public awareness has also been raised regarding domestic violence. Thanks to the efforts of women’s organizations and bringing the subject into the light, violence against a spouse is no longer considered just a personal family issue. Domestic violence is a crime, and perpetrators need to be held accountable. Now most states have mandatory arrest laws, and we all know it is unacceptable and a crime to hit anyone, be they are your spouse, child, or significant other.

This same change needs to take place with Substance Use Disorder. A problem that is the leading cause of accidental death in those under 50 in our country, an issue that has created the greatest health emergency in our country, an issue that takes way too many lives and destroys families. We need to remove the stigma and stand up for families who are suffering.  

My family and I appeared in that press conference along with a few others, and my sons’ photos were on the cover of Arizona’s largest newspaper the next day. We were featured on every news channel talking about the topic and I was able to share about the resources available through PAL. I could not be more proud of my family as they shared our struggles publicly and acknowledged the toll it took on us all – and how we found hope through PAL.  There is a link below where you can see the printed version of the article.

I want to honor our many volunteer facilitators and others who have also made local and national media appearances, sharing their PAL stories. Together we can start shifting the conversation. I understand you may not be ready to stand up in front of people, but I encourage you to find the courage and realize you have nothing to be ashamed of. This is a disease that impacts the entire family as well as our communities, and we need to address it head on. PAL has a key role to play in all of this.

My message was hope. I repeated that word over and over. I pray you are finding hope in your PAL meetings and the network of people you have met through PAL. 

On November 13 PAL has its annual fundraiser / educational event that will be live in Phoenix as well as live-streamed that night. Please consider helping PAL help others with your financial support. I am honored to stand up and represent families and will continue to do so when given the opportunity. We need your help and support to bring hope and healing to others. Please get your tickets to the in-person event if you are going to be in Phoenix. Your support in standing with us sends a message to our community that is invaluable.

Blessings,
Kim Humphrey
ED / CEO
Link to News Article: Settlement with opioid industry

Let's Talk About Gratitude

It’s November! Let’s talk about gratitude. There is no better medicine to lift our spirits than a quick account of our blessings. What an incredibly powerful tool for changing our perspectives for the better. The happiest most resilient people I meet always seem to have an “attitude of gratitude.” The people I see with quality, lasting recovery always express a lot of gratitude in life and often turn their focus to helping others.
 
Attitudes tend to snowball. We have all had a day when a sour attitude or self-pity leads to further frustrations as we complain that things are continually going awry. A day in a grateful mindset tends to do the same, things either go well or we tend to respond better if they don’t. Usually, we will find that what we are focusing on will grow. Are you currently focused on complaints or blessings?
 
I believe that in a grateful mindset we see life clearly. Gratitude can often shift our attention from fear toward faith. When we count our blessings, we can look backward and see that we survived each situation leading up to now and maybe even ended up becoming better people as a result. Even in difficult times gratitude can help keep us going and make adversity bearable.
 
In our meetings we focus on education about the disease of alcoholism/addiction, we focus on admitting and accepting the problem, and we seek and implement the solutions. Gratitude is one of these solutions. The practice of staying grateful, even when things are difficult, can help in coping with the toughest situations (such as dealing with a child or loved one in an active addiction). The same goes for coping with problems involving society, family, financial stress, illness, or any other stress-inducing life problems.
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Save the Date - Nov 13, 2021
Power of PAL
The POWER of PAL event will feature bestselling author, Alllison Bottke, family testimonials, America's Favorite Speed Painting Artist, an online auction and much more!

The event will offer a limited number of guests to attend in-person in Phoenix, Arizona.
In-person guests will have a chance to meet bestselling artist, Allison Bottke and watch America's Favorite Speed Painter, Randall Hedden!

The national event is open and free to a virtual community and includes participation in the silent auction.

See below for more information. 

Event information www.palgroup.org/powerofpal2021
Virtual & In-person Reservations
Featured Speaker 
Allison Bottke is our featured speaker for Power of PAL. She is an award-winning, bestselling inspirational author of more than 32 non-fiction and fiction books, including seven books in the acclaimed Setting Boundaries® series and 13 volumes in the popular God Allows U-Turns® anthology.
Many PAL members were first introduced to Allison via her landmark bestseller Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.
Featured Artist
Randall Hedden has been deemed "America's Favorite Speed Painter" by the entertainment industry in 2014 for his accuracy as well as his speed.  Professing to never retire from his art career, he is constantly re-inventing himself and has brought his art to the stage as an entertainment act. His talent was discovered in January of 2011 by "America's Got Talent" television show where he advanced to the final 100 by creating a 5' square portrait of a celebrity live in less than 90 seconds!
 
Virtual & In-person Reservations
Power of PAL Sponsors

Moving Forward with Hope

Our family has struggled for 12 years on and off with our 32-year-old son John’s addictions. My husband of 35 years and I and my 30-year-old daughter have been overwhelmed.  
 
After John was born we had our daughter three years later. Growing up they both played sports – his sister was more intense and dedicated while John was more laid back. Still, he always wanted to be in charge and didn’t like structure or rules.  Both of our kids finished college, she in four years and John in seven years.
 
We started to notice some marijuana and alcohol use in his senior year, with his first DUI just after graduation, then came opioid use after hernia surgery later that year. He had several car accidents through high school and lost his license with the DUI. He also did Xanax bars and probably other things we didn’t know about.
 
For a while he lived with a friend who apparently was also using and who had been through drug rehab numerous times. This friend and another both died of overdose within a year of each other. John had a couple of real jobs, although he always had a hard time passing a drug test. Often he worked in lawn care with a family friend.  He bummed rides until he could drive again, then when he got his license back, he lost it within a year when he was arrested for drug paraphernalia and reckless driving after hitting a tree. It was actually his third accident, but he wasn’t caught the first two times so never had to face responsibility. Repeated efforts toward recovery weren’t particularly successful. 
 
Eventually he stopped the opioids and heroin, but he was on Xanax and Suboxone. Then came trouble with alcohol, a bar fight and concussion, being beaten up in a parking lot late one night when drunk, and self-harm when he burned himself with a lighter causing a third-degree burn on his inner thigh.

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Change, Restoration and
Healing are within Reach
  

I can remember autumn seasons filled with joy, laughter, thanksgiving, and family congregation. Beautiful swaths of orange, red, and yellow dotting the Northern Arizona forest. Recollections of time spent together, experiencing moments of happiness, gratitude, and abundance. Moments where everything felt right; like pieces of the puzzle in the grand scheme of life that just fit, exactly as they should. While we tend to view the past with rose-colored glasses – I can attest to the fact that these memories were often as beautiful as I remember them being.

Like many things within our quantitative realm of human experience though, some negative can come bundled in with the positive. Increased allergies and occurrence of colds. Seasonal depressive disorders. Nostalgic reminiscence for seasons past that may have been happier than the times we find ourselves in today. The holidays in particular tend to invoke a longing for days passed – days where cherished loved ones were still with us. Days where friendships, romance, or new beginnings blossomed. Days where our loved ones may have been in better places mentally, physically, and spiritually than they are now. Maybe even times when we found ourselves in better form as well.

This concept is a truth for me; these happy memories are intermingled with darkness, growing stronger as I aged out of adolescence into adulthood. Addiction. Mental health issues. Pain. And borne of all of these – absence. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually. For a number of years in my active addiction I simply was no longer there. My disease took that from me. It took away my ability to be present for others. It turned me inside out; to the point that the happy go lucky, loving guy my family knew me as was reduced to a simple vestige.
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New PAL Meetings
Giving Hope to Others
When you become a Monthly Pal — a monthly donor — you make it possible for PAL to provide dependable and lasting impact to hurting parents who are seeking hope and change. Your monthly gift means more consistent and timely funding to be strategic in our growth to better offer critical services and resources to those seeking help.

As a Monthly Pal, you will have access to quarterly updates from PAL’s executive director, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are making your support go further by reducing administrative costs and helping more families.

 
It is simple and easy to be a Monthly Pal
 
REGISTER ONLINE: PALGroup.org — Click “Donate Now” To make your monthly gift, choose any amount that works for you, select “Make this a recurring monthly donation” and your subsequent giving will happen automatically.

 
How Your Monthly Gift Makes a Difference Over a Year

$5 a month x 12 = provides two Facilitator Guides for new facilitators.
$10 a month x 12 = 12 facilitators will each receive one complimentary copy of the book Smoke and Mirrors.
$25 a month x 12 = provides materials and start-up costs for one meeting a year to serve families seeking hope.
$50 a month x 12 = provides community outreach and digital marketing to increase awareness of PAL services to reach parents in need.
$100 a month x 12 = contributes to volunteer facilitator recruitment and training to add meetings in new locations for families seeking resources.

 
If you’re not quite ready to be a monthly donor, but have questions,
please contact: development@palgroup.org
Donate
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PAL
11225 N 28th Ave, Suite B109
Phoenix, Arizona 85029

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