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Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey
Dear Friends,

Well, the summer is in full swing, and there sure is a lot happening with PAL!
I have shared a shocking/alarming statistic in some of our literature, but when I repeat it to people, they really have no idea this is the case: More people in the U.S. are diagnosed with substance use disorder (drug and alcohol addiction), than all cancers combined.

It is no wonder you can hardly talk to anyone and not hear about someone they know or are related to that suffers from this disease. It is for this reason that PAL needs to continue to press on to fight this epidemic that is tearing families apart and costing our country billions of dollars in health care and criminal justice costs. And yet, talking about it as statistics just doesn’t really carry as much weight as knowing someone that is personally affected. Along with the many amazing stories of loved ones getting better, I also get calls regularly about those who have lost the battle.  I can only pray and hope that we keep working to help and be a part of the solution, that we remember and recognize the losses and not lose hope that their lives mattered.  This month’s Parent’s Story takes a different twist as you can see from the headline, “Still Missing After Two Years,” please read this and experience the perseverance of this couple as they continue to attend PAL meetings and find hope. 

We also thank those of you who are participating in our Share the Blessing summer fundraising campaign. We tried to make the goal of raising $250.00 to start a meeting a tangible reminder of what your money will be used for.  We always want to help new meetings get going with all the supplies they need and $250.00 provides just that. We already have some meetings that have exceeded their goals and are excited to help and see PAL grow.  Since last October, PAL has grown nearly 50% in the number of active meetings being held and we receive inquiries on a daily basis on how to start a meeting.   
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PAL Blog:
The Happy Choice   
~ Ron
The path of one whose family member is addicted is often long and grueling.  It is filled with a few ups and far too many downs.  It is a path where our deepest fears are encountered, our vulnerabilities exposed and our failings magnified.  Along the way, the forces at work impact us, shape us and change us.  In most cases we feel ourselves to be at the mercy of these ill winds that blow through our lives. 

However, this is not completely true.  We can, with courage, change the things that are genuinely in our control and, with grace, accept the things that are not.  We can choose truth over denial and tough love over codependent rescuing.  We can choose to seek help and rely on the wisdom and strength of others.  We can choose health.  We can choose to be happy even when happiness seems an impossibility. 

Here’s a little fact that we often fail to see when we are in an unhappy place…. happy people have real problems too!  However, they have somehow along the way learned, through practice, how to be happy in spite of their difficulties.  Let me share some other facts about happy people:
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From The
Washington Post
OPIOID ADDICTION AND OVERDOSES IN CHILDREN DEVASTATE THEIR PARENTS

Opioid addiction and overdoses in children devastate their parents – 

“Brian has been dead for 136 days,” says his mother, Vicki Bishop. “I watched him die over many years, and it was a long, slow, horrible death.”

Her son’s decades-long battle with opioids blotted out the sun in her own life, says Bishop, 65, of Clarksburg, Md. It held her in the clenched fist of shock and anticipation shared by millions of American parents who are traumatized by a child’s substance use.

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Share The Blessing
It is time for our annual Share the Blessings Campaign. Hopefully, you have seen information at your regular PAL meeting – if not, please ask your Facilitator about it.

During the summer months we do a nation-wide giving campaign, to help offset the costs to open new meetings in communities where PAL resources are not available.  The Share the Blessings Campaign will run through August 22. 

We have asked our Facilitators to tell you about the campaign – including what funds are used for, ideas about how to raise dollars as a group or to make a donation individually at your PAL meeting or on-line by Clicking Here.  

If you currently are not attending a meeting and/or If you want to make an online donation please indicate in the “notes” section on the on-line form Share the Blessings and what meeting location you participate in or wish to support. For Phone Meetings, simply indicate phone meeting Tuesday or Thursday evening

We are asking for each PAL Group to try to pay it forward, and raise funds to help support a new PAL meeting get started. No donation amount is too little.  We know groups vary in size and personal giving means vary as well - please do what you can. And, if you are unable to donate,we understand, please keep our fundraising campaign in your prayers that we can continue to serve communities across the United States in need of PAL.
A Journey in Recovery:  LETTING GO...    
~ Sean
       Havasupai Falls is an isolated paradise located deep in a remote corner of the Grand Canyon National Park. It attracts thousands of visitors yearly, people wishing to experience the beautiful, cool, turquoise waters and magnificent waterfalls. The Falls sit on the land of the Havasupai people, and in order to gain entrance to this secluded oasis, one must obtain a permit to enter their land and either camp, or stay in the lodge in the small adjacent village of Supai. Over the years, through the advent of social media and word of mouth, tourism has boomed. There are now far more people attempting to gain permits to visit the Falls than there is space available. Obtaining a permit in 2018 for Havasupai is akin to finding an expensive golden needle in a thousand acre haystack – virtually impossible for all but the most dedicated, determined, or those who can pay a hefty sum to obtain entrance through a wilderness excursion company. Needless to say, one could imagine how pleased I was when, through a concentrated team effort between myself, several family members and a few friends, I was able to acquire a reservation and permit to visit the Falls for two days and one night this July. I had visited the Falls once before as a kid and truly dreamed of returning, to re-discover that magic that I had been so blessed to experience years before.
 
        After the coveted permits were purchased, I set about preparing for this next great adventure. I invited close friends to take the journey with me, as I had four spots available and wanted to relish in the gorgeous majesty of nature with those close to me. I booked a hotel room for the night before the big hike, so we could be at the trailhead bright and early and make it to the grounds before the punishing Arizona summer sun relinquished the full brunt of its mighty heat midday. I scoured Amazon for deals on hardy, yet lightweight, camping gear, spent hours devoted to scrolling through endless lists of supplies, trying to locate the perfect items that would suit us properly. I hit the trails in Dreamy Draw Park in Phoenix in the 112 degree afternoon sun, slogging miles through the desert to prepare myself, physically and mentally for the 20 plus miles we’d be hiking over the course of 48 hours. I was excited as someone could possibly be. Everything down to the T was planned out, according to me and my designs. I have to admit that my somewhat obsessive nature insistently played into this process. I had been looking forward to this trip from the minute it was booked on February 1st.

     On the morning of July 12th, exactly one week before I was to hike in, while scrolling thought my Facebook feed, I felt my heart break.  AZ. Central was featuring a breaking story on their account, showing a video of a canyon that had been transformed into a veritable river of mud. Before even reading the headline, I knew from the recognizable scenery what was happening: the Havasupai campgrounds had been essentially destroyed from a severe flash flood spurred on by the infamous Arizona monsoon.
 
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Parent Story: Still Missing After Two Years
       My husband and I have two beautiful adult children who each took a different path in life.  Our son married a wonderful girl and they are living an active healthy life. On the other hand, we have not seen or heard from our daughter for over two years, she has struggled with addiction to methamphetamine for 10+ years.  We believe she is living in another state, as we found a traffic ticket she received over a year ago.  In addition to her battle with drugs, she has also suffered from mental illness for many years. 
 
       It has been a long road with our daughter while she was active in her addiction.  Like most parents, we were shocked to learn she was using drugs.  Both of our children in younger years attended Christian schools and went on to high school with excellent grades.  Our addicted daughter was in advanced placement courses in high school, was a cheerleader and participated in her high school band.  We never had any reason to suspect drug use or any attraction to drug use.  It was a total shock to us when we learned our daughter had become addicted to methamphetamine.
 
       It took us many years to finally be convinced she had drug problems.  That’s the one thing addicts are really good at – hiding their addiction.  She really had us fooled.  She always had the right answer to any concern we had (getting over a cold or allergies; lost her phone; between jobs and needed money). Of course, we believed her.  We had no reason not to.  It wasn’t until she was arrested the first time that we realized we had a real problem on our hands.  But even that was a wrong way of thinking. It was common for us to take on the responsibility for our daughter’s drug addiction.  We wanted to blame ourselves thinking that there must have been something we didn’t do for our daughter when she was growing up that caused her to make such a poor choice in life to use drugs. We suffered from a lot of guilt that we later learned how to overcome.  We didn’t know whom to turn to.  We didn’t know any of our friends who were dealing with the same problem, so we felt so alone.  I think we were also in denial.  Like a bad dream, we thought eventually we would wake up and all would be fine.  We mourned over our loss – loss of the dreams we had for her now shattered because of drugs.  We feared she would be dead from an overdose or from homelessness and living on the streets. 
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Blog from a Financial Professional:
Dealing with Addiction and Its Financial Consequences – A Personal Story

When Cathy confronted him in 2007, of course, Jason said he was going to go to the doctor and get help to kick the habit.

At the time, methadone was the drug used to help wean people off of heroin.

We thought he was clean. That is until April 2008 when we got a call from him after being arrested.

They found empty packets with the residue of heroin and paraphernalia associated with drug use.

The financial issues kicked into high gear then. Jason found an attorney who specialized in dealing with drug offenders. The cost – $8,000, which Cathy and I agreed to pay.

That was our first of many, many bad financial decisions.

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SAVE THE DATE!
Building Hope from Hopelessness - Saturday, October 20, 2018
We really want you to join us for our 4th Annual Hope Banquet on Saturday, October 20 at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix.  This year the event is titled "Building Hope from Hopelessness" as we celebrate the amazing journey to finding hope in these extraordinary times!

Event Highlights: 
  • Fun evening with music, fabulous food and beautiful decor
  • An amazing silent auction with one-of-a-kind items
  • Inspirational Guest Speaker: 
    • Arizona State Senator, Nancy Barto, who serves as Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, focusing on health care and family-related issues.
Early Bird Prices:
  • Tickets are $40 per person until September 15 - Early Birds Click Here
  • Early Bird pricing for full tables too!
  • Tickets will be $50 per person starting September 16
  • Sponsorship opportunities are available 
 
Traveling to Phoenix for the HOPE Banquet? Click on links below for: For anyone planning to attend our Hope Banquet coming from outside of Arizona, we have a sponsor who wants to help. They will cover the cost of your Banquet ticket! The Sponsor understands the extra expense for airline and hotel expenses for those who want to support the annual fundraiser and has offered to help those incurring extra costs to attend the Building Hope Banquet.  Just respond to this email with your flight or hotel information and we will confirm your ticket(s) for the event.  If you have any questions, please email admin@palgroup.org

If you know someone who may be interested in sponsoring this year's banquet please let us know - email admin@palgroup.org
 
Looking forward to sharing this very special evening together.
Save the Date Card (Click Here)
Copyright © 2018 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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