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Parents of Addicted Loved ones
June 2016 Newsletter
 
palgroup
In This Edition:
PAL Grows and Grows
A Story of Hope from a PAL Mom
Upcoming Events
PAL Needs
From the first visit to a PAL meeting, I felt like I had met people who understood the challenges I faced regarding my son's substance abuse disorder. I have been involved with PAL for over a year and the love, education and support
I receive is priceless.
   Mary
PAL Grows and Grows
by Kim Humphrey, PAL Board Chairman

In June alone, new meetings are starting in Alaska, Louisiana, Tennessee, Maine, and Idaho. Reflecting back, it was in early 2015 when Mike Speakman, founder of Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, turned the reigns of PAL over to a volunteer board who incorporated the organization as a non-profit.  We had no idea of how significant and rapid the growth of PAL would be. Each volunteer board member signed on because we believed in PAL and what it has done for all of us. However, we cautiously looked at where PAL was - with over a dozen meetings in Arizona, a few more in Indiana and Kentucky and we trusted that the PAL message would guide its growth. Without advertising or purposely trying to grow we began fielding calls from across the United States for PAL to expand into areas it did not exist. 

Personally, I still have to marvel at how brave these people are who call to reach out and ask how to start a meeting (in most cases, having never attended a PAL meeting). I cannot tell you how often they said, they felt as though they just wanted to help others, and in one way or another came across the PAL Information.
 
PAL has taught me not to believe in coincidences. Last year, my wife, Michelle and I planned a long needed vacation. We decided to travel to Oregon, see the coast and then travel down to California on our way back to Arizona. As we were driving through Oregon, I noticed an email from a couple that were inquiring about starting a meeting in their community – they had never attended a PAL meeting but read about it on-line.  Where was this couple? You guessed it, in Oregon! In a town only 15 miles from where Michelle and I had a reservation to stay. We ended up meeting them, staying half a day to train and get them rolling on starting a meeting in their community.  The very next day we received another email, almost identical to the one from the Oregon couple.  This new couple felt led to start a meeting in their community… Yes, coincidence number two. They lived in California, which was on our way home. So we stopped and met another amazing couple; and trained them as well.  And so the story goes…board members and volunteers for PAL have been blessed with the ability to help meetings get started all over the United States.   
Following is a story of hope from one mom who found PAL 

How I Found Hope in PAL

by Mindy S. 

My son was attending college in southern Indiana and working as a roofer on residential homes.  It was a nice fall day when his journey began. He slipped and injured his back on the job. And, the pain medication began. He told me what he was taking and I did a little research. Naturally, I was concerned and I expressed to him these pills were addictive and he should stop taking them. He of course said, he was doing just fine. 

Time went on and things seemed to be normal. A few years after the roofing accident, I received a phone call from my son. "Mom, I'm in big trouble and going to jail for a very long time."  My head was spinning, "What?!? What's going on?"  Apparently my son had borrowed a car, he overdosed while at a gas station in the borrowed car.  He was treated and they had to administer Narcan, an antidote for a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.  To make matters worse, I was on vacation and I realized there was nothing I could do to change his circumstances.  When I returned home, I needed to find out the truth, I talked to the gas station owner to know what happened that night.  Ultimately, I discovered my wonderful and amazing son was addicted to heroin, which was kick started from the pain medicine years earlier.  And, my addiction was to my son. 

I did everything I could do to protect him, from not only himself, but the law, from jail, from prison and his addiction. I could do this, I was his Mom. I would search to the ends of the earth for the perfect recovery program. It was after years of doing everything and anything to save him that I hit my own rock bottom. 

I realized I couldn't save his life but I could save mine. I was blessed with a wonderful mentor and friend, Sarah.  She had been helping women just out of prison to start a new guided life through Jesus. I was blessed by all of her guidance and support and her patience. But another year went by…if only I had listened to her sooner, maybe this ugly journey wouldn't have taken this long.

During that year, I decided to move away, about 25 miles from everything that was familiar. I was sure by doing this no one would drive that far to bring drugs to him. I was wrong. Day one, his drug friend was in my driveway. My son said, “He’s here to help me unload.”  I thought, Oh, my gosh - NO!  I told my son that changes had to be made in order for him to stay with me. I had found a mentor who would take him to meetings and guide him. He agreed. I knew we were on the right track now.  After his first meeting, I was feeling some relief.  But, it didn't last long. That would be the first and last meeting he would attend.  His mentor, Michael, called me and said, he was more worried about me than my son. “Mindy, here is a phone number of a mom going through the same struggles you are experiencing. I think she can help you.”  I put the number in my phone and labeled her contact as: HELP MICHELLE!!

It wasn't long before I made the call.  That call changed my life!

Not only did that call change my life but the lives of many to come. It was then that the PAL group Indiana started and touched the lives of many. I became a facilitator with Rachel and Michelle, and every Thursday night we have been blessed to help the hopeless find Hope. I call it a miracle each week. 

Through the education, compassion and understanding of PAL, I am no longer addicted to my addict. I am a Mom helping other parents find Hope. I am so thankful for Mike Speakman, founder of PAL. This man is so amazing, loving and is defined by the word HOPE. His efforts to help change and save the lives of many is a gift from God. We at PAL in Avon, Indiana give God all the glory, and through prayer we find peace in our lives no matter what our loved ones choose.

As we all know, the journey is never over. At this time in my life, my son is in a work release program and doing very well. I am blessed that today is a good day.

I thank God for that. The journey isn't easy, but it sure gave me a passion to share PAL with anyone and everyone, and that was the gift and blessing I received from our awesome God.  Prayers for all of us and our loved ones.

Lets Have Some FUN
Topgolf in Scottsdale, Arizona
PAL is hosting a FUNdRAISER with the focus in on FUN!
This FUNdRAISER is a different kind of golf event – think of golf meets bowling and an arcade!  You don’t have to be a handicap golfer to participate, you just need to be ready for a little fun. Topgolf is a the premier golf entertainment complex where the players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield.

We will have FUN, food and you don’t need to be a pro, you just have to want to have a good time – golfers and non-golfers encouraged to join in the fun and fellowship. So spread some hope and consider joining us for this amazing event.  We will be providing details on our website via email soon. 
Wondering how you can help out with PAL's wants and needs?
In order to help new meetings, get off to a great start,
PAL sends out a “start-up” kit that contains:
•    Signage, facilitator guide, handouts, flyers, press release examples, a video, books and a variety of other materials.
 
It costs PAL approximately $250 to get a meeting started. This is currently with no paid staff and all volunteer work.  We are launching an online fundraising campaign this month to help us raise $25,000 by October 15th of this year. This is for anticipated growth and our ability to expand our reach into more and more communities. Please consider joining us and making a secure donation at Palgroup.org. 
Donate Now! (click here)
Copyright © 2016 LIST:PAL All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 3325
Gilbert AZ 85299
Phone : 480-300-4712
Email : info@palgroup.org

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