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Letter from the Executive Director - Kim Humphrey
Dear Friends, 
We are proud and excited to share with you,
PAL Exceeded 100 Meetings taking place in 30 states in April of 2018! More people are finding hope in PAL thanks to all of you helping us to spread the word. We have had several of our groups featured in the news and we continue to work to get information out to let people know there is a place to get help when dealing with an addicted loved one.

We have many new things to share as PAL has grown during these short three years since we formed as a non-profit.  Due to generous grants from the BHHS Legacy Foundation and the IBIS Foundation, we now have office space located at 11225 N. 28 Dr. in Phoenix, AZ. We are getting this set up and are excited to have our own small space to call home. We are continuing our search for an administrative assistant, and if you know someone with the requisite skills, please have them send their resume and interest in a cover letter to help@palgroup.org.  A job description can be found by clicking here.

We are working on our website as well and have added our regular bloggers. You can comment, ask questions and find an archive of our newsletters as well. Soon, you can also subscribe to our blog and receive notices when new information posts, check it out at palgroup.org on the home page. 
 
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PAL Blog: Qualities Worth Mentioning ~ Ron
My mother passed away last week at the age of 84. 
The reason I mention this is that her life, like yours, was impacted by addicted loved ones.  At age seven she watched her alcoholic father die on the living room floor of their modest home.  She then, along with her mother and 4 older brothers, moved into a basement apartment where she spent the next 10 years growing up.  Sadly, my mom watched as alcohol abuse and dependency crept into her brothers’ lives.  My mom, however, managed to avoid their fate. As I have reflected on her life I am struck by a number of qualities that my mother possessed that allowed her to be a true survivor of a family riddled by addiction.  I believe these qualities are worth mentioning.
 
Courage – the willingness to make difficult decisions, no matter the cost.  The ability to venture into new and uncharted waters believing life can be different…better!  Today we call it “boundary setting.”  Then it was called “backbone” or “grit.”
 
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Smile Amazon
It's easy, and it's free and it helps PAL!
click here or just go to https://smile.amazon.com/
Next sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.  Amazon will prompt you to select an organization, type in: Parents of Addicted Loved Ones-PAL. Select the Gilbert AZ PAL. Make sure at top left of page, you see orange letters "Supporting" and to the right of that it should say Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) in white.

That is it! You're now correctly signed up. Simply always go to https://smile.amazon.com/ to sign in and make your Amazon purchases and by doing so you are helping to support PAL.  There is no cost to you!
Share The Blessing
Coming to a PAL Meeting soon


Each summer we ask that PAL meetings consider helping get other meetings started around the country.  Please watch for your opportunity to help pay it forward and get another meeting started, to help spread hope to others with an addicted loved one.
A Journey in Recovery: Holding Out Hope ~ Sean
Holding Out Hope. Holding out hope for a loved one struggling with active addiction is challenging. So often we find ourselves constantly disheartened by their failure to achieve sobriety, to surmount the obstacles standing in their way of peace, health, and freedom from the bondage of addiction. I know! I put my parents through this and I watched them suffer.
 
 A cynical, dismal worldview can easily be developed when witnessing addiction rear its ugly, destructive head. Everyone who has been touched by this evil has experienced this. In this day and age of daily opioid overdoses, of the countless lives lost due to the disease of addiction, principles like hope and faith can be increasingly difficult to hold on to. But I firmly believe that hope lives on in the hearts and lives of those who get better, and the families and friends who bear witness to these miraculous transformations.
 
So how do we hold onto that? How do we spread that positivity, that message that addicts and their families can truly get better and heal in the face of such an insurmountable disease? The first step, I believe, is letting go. Figuratively and literally. In an unsurprising juxtaposition with the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous, I truly feel that recognizing your own powerlessness over someone actively using drugs and alcohol is the first step toward changing your entire life, the way you support that person, and true serenity. Now, as you can imagine, this is much easier said than done. And, if there’s one thing I know with certainty, it’s that recovery in any form, whether its PAL's or a 12-step program, cannot be accomplished alone.
 
Through attending meetings, through discipline, setting boundaries, through making commitments to yourself and to others, peace can be found.
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Parent Story: Our 20 year Journey to Hope
Ian is the younger of my two boys and NEVER NEVER NEVER gave us any sort of problem whatsoever.

John on the other hand was the wild child, but the two were very close and Ian was always with Sean and his friends. I had no indication that Ian was drinking and smoking pot. I found out about Sean and lowered the hammer. It probably wasn’t until Ian was a senior in high school that we realized he was drinking.

I believe to this day that something just "clicked" in Ian’s brain, a switch was turned on, whatever that happens to be. My family is riddled with addicts and alcoholics.
Things seemed OK when he went off to college until his girlfriend called us concerned and said, he was drinking every day. I couldn't believe it and immediately went to confront him. There was no talking to him at this point, and I found out he was also taking steroids. I had pretty much lost any control.

He called one night and told me he had a friend take him to the hospital and he was admitted to a detox program. He checked himself out the next day, I believe. Things get hazy after that. Through his girlfriend we heard he was blacking out, driving to see her, and not remembering what he had done.
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Addiction and Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) is a term for individuals with both mental health and substance use disorders. This is common with addiction! It is estimated that more than 50% of people with substance abuse disorder also suffer from a mental health issues such as clinical depression, bi-polar or anxiety disorder.
 
It is difficult to tell the difference between addiction and mental health symptoms because they often mimic each other. Those with mental illness and addiction may not consistently take medications prescribed by their physician and the addiction can sometimes mask the mental illness.
 
The symptoms of one disorder will usually worsen the symptoms of the other and can lead to relapse.
 
It is therefore imperative that both disorders are treated. A person should be ‘clean and sober’ for a period of at least 2 weeks, preferably 4, in order for a proper diagnosis to be determined by a qualified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and dual diagnosis.
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PAL EVALUATION - Thank you
Well over 600 people responded to our PAL survey being conducted by researchers at Northern Arizona University.   We have received the preliminarily results and they are showing what we know, that PAL HELPS!  Stay tuned, we anticipate the published report within the next couple weeks and we will be sharing results with you. 

If you have any questions about this project, please contact:
Dr. Cindy Scott-Janicik, EdD, cindy.scott@nau.edu or
Kristen Alaniz, MEd, LCSW, kristen.alaniz@nau.edu
SAVE THE DATE!
Building Hope from Hopelessness
PAL's Annual Banquet & Silent Auction: will be held on October 20th, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ. It's time to start making plans to join us for this amazing event, with great speakers, updates on PAL and we might even have some fun!
Save the Date Card (Click Here)
Copyright © 2018 PAL - Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, All rights reserved.


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