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Dear Friends, 

I received a letter from the President of the United States.  Ok, I’m not positive he actually wrote it, but his signature was on the letter, and it came on White House stationary. Like we have done with whomever is in Office, we sent a letter a few months ago. The letter was asking for any help the current administration could provide in supporting us as a non-profit in trying to make a difference in this unprecedented health epidemic of substance use disorder. 

You already know the overdose numbers are higher than they ever have been and yet we still face the issue of people not knowing who we are, or the help and hope PAL can bring.  With August upon us, we are gearing up for PAL Awareness Week (Aug. 20-28). When this idea was born, our goal was to target one week near the end of summer to do everything we could to spread the word about PAL. We want to get to the point that hearing the word PAL is as recognizable as hearing AA. 

We do not want to be a best kept secret.  If everyone knew about PAL, our meetings would be overflowing based on the number of people this affects.  You might ask why this time of year? Well, historically, PAL has started more meetings in the fall and at the beginning of the year than at any other time. I have several theories on why that is, but our hope is that if we can get enough volunteers and get to as many places as possible, that we can not only let people know about our current meetings, but we can also start more meetings where they are needed. Will you jump in and help? There is more information in this newsletter on what you can do to change a life through PAL Awareness Week.

Our goal is to distribute at least 60,000 pieces of printed materials as well as target every state with information about PAL to communities, the media, social media and frankly wherever we can get the word out.  If you have contacts that you know will help and that you can pass along, please respond to this email with that information.

I wanted to share with you the last line of the letter I received from the president. It states, “I won’t stop fighting until we do more to confront the supply, demand, and human toll of illicit drugs in our country.”  PAL is not political and regardless of who is in the office, I hope they follow through with that and continue to work until we get this turned around. As a parent of an addicted loved one himself, I pray the president personally realizes the value of bringing hope to parents. As always, thank you to all of our facilitators - you are amazing, and you continue to bring hope even during these summer months. When vacations and travel are the norm, you are still showing up or making arrangements for a substitute when it's time for you to vacation and nurture yourselves.

God bless,

Kim Humphrey
Race for Recovery
Runs through August 7
Race for Recovery.  Race founder, Michael Murtaugh, fought addiction and personal issues for many years until he faced what challenged him and changed his life! Each year he commits to a challenge and does the hard work to conquer it.

Will you support Michael and other Race for Recovery participants? 
A number of PAL members are honoring their loved ones by participating in their own race challenge and doing it anonymously.

Will you please support Race for Recovery and all race participants who are honoring their loved one by making a donation of any amount. 

Every journey is unique.  Let’s come together to support each other and offer hope to families seeking help.

Honor your loved one by making a donation and supporting others on their journey!
Race Donations
Guest Blog:
My happiness is my responsibility.

Our regular counselor blogger, Josh Acevedo, is on break for three months, so we are bringing you perspectives from a PAL Facilitator.

I was delighted with a text I received the other morning from one of my PAL meeting participants. It stated, “We took the suggestion and have gone on vacation, won’t be at the meeting tonight!” I couldn’t stop smiling. I know first-hand how hard it is to take responsibility for ourselves, to nurture ourselves and to actually find happiness for ourselves when our child seems to be lost to their disease. We tend to put everything “on hold” while we wait for them to get better, because then, and only then, will we ever find joy in life.
Over the years I have heard the same comments many times from parents of addicted loved ones: “We haven’t taken a vacation in years; how can we leave when our loved one is in the throes of this problem?”; “What if something happens to them while we are gone?”; “What if they found out we’re enjoying a vacation while they are living on the street addicted to substances?” The list of “what ifs” goes on.
At some point in time, whether we learned it from our own parents or subscribed to it on our own, many of us adopted the mantra that we will only be as happy as our unhappiest child. On the surface this seems like a loving statement, but if we dig a little deeper into what this means, we find a message going out to our children that is loaded with a burden that many of them find difficult to bear. Think about it this way: if someone was depending on you to meet their expectations so that they could be happy, how would feel? Many of us are accidentally sending our loved ones this message.

Read More
4th Annual PAL Awareness Week
PAL Awareness Week is designed to introduce Parents of Addicted Loved Ones to hurting families across the country. Whether you’re a PAL parent whose life has been changed in a PAL group, or you’re someone who believes in the mission of the organization, you can be an important part of getting HOPE out to hurting parents. Are you ready to change a life?
  • What is PAL Awareness Week?
    • August 20-28, 2022
    • Opportunity for PAL supporters all over the country to spread the word about PAL by distributing materials
    • Create awareness of PAL
    • Recruit non-PAL parents who support our cause to help distribute flyers
    • If you can’t participate directly, like/comment/share the social media posts
    • Order PAL Awareness kits by Aug. 10, and we’ll ship them to you.
    • Our goal is to distribute 60,000 pieces of literature. 
  • Where can you take materials?
  • Police departments
  • Fire departments
  • Churches
  • Doctor offices
  • Hair salons & barbers
  • Hospitals
  • Urgent care centers
  • Celebrate recovery sites
  • Treatment & recovery Centers
  • Counselors & psychologist offices
  • Grocery stores
  • Public defenders’ offices
  • Prosecutors
  • Local businesses
  • Libraries
  • Post copies on social media
Any place that will accept and display or distribute them. Be creative – maybe a local hair salon or a local craft store or a locally owned business 
  • Social media contest
    • When you deliver PAL materials, post pictures and videos to your social media (include people when possible)
    • Tag your post(s) with #PALaware
    • Incentives: For each photo/video you post with #PALaware, you will be entered into a drawing for PAL swag, handmade gifts and/or advertising for your meeting (limit one prize per person; 10 winners total).
  • Order you kit: Go to to order your kit(s). We’ll take care of the packaging, shipping and postage. Although you can order as many kits as you’d like, please make sure you can realistically distribute all the requested handouts. Kit choices include:
    • Small Kit: includes 100 brochures, 25 info cards, and 10 customizable* meeting flyers.
    • Medium Kit – includes 300 brochures, 50 info cards, and 20 customizable* meeting flyers.
    • Large Kit: includes 500 brochures, 100 info cards, 30 customizable* meeting flyers.
    • Spanish Kit: 200 brochures, 10 customizable* meeting flyers.
    • Need more than the kit sizes available? Order more than one kit.
    • If you’re not comfortable dropping off literature, we can mail it directly to the contacts you give us (reply directly to this newsletter with that information)
*Flyers will not include specific meeting information, instead there will be a spot where facilitators can write in or use a label to include specific meeting information.
PAL Awareness Week Info

I can't change my daughter

Our family would be considered a typical family. My husband and I have been married for 31 years, we have a 29-year-old son who’s married with children and a 23-year-old daughter.

Our daughter was always the social butterfly. She included the kids who were not typically invited to other events to all of her events. She had a knack for seeing classmates who didn’t have a lot of friends and pulled them into her group. Our house always had a bunch of girls over on the weekends.  She enjoyed visiting nursing homes and elderly people. During one of these visits, she met an elderly lady with no family nearby. When our daughter found out about this lady’s birthday, she planned a day out that included me driving them to a restaurant and then dropping them off at a movie. 

Our daughter wanted to experience everything and was an overachiever. She moved out of our home when she was 18-years-old. She held a job and was purchasing a house at age 21 when drugs became part of her wanting to experience it all. Since she wasn’t living with us, we didn’t know how bad her drug use had become. Her use got to a point where she could not work and could not live on her own. When she moved back home with us, we didn’t recognize the drug use immediately and found ourselves in denial for almost a year. 

Our daughter became our nightmare. She yelled at us daily. She tore up our home. She broke items. She threatened us. She pulled a gun on me. We lived in constant fear that if we didn’t do what she wanted she would retaliate. Even with these behaviors we denied it was drug use. We both questioned it, but it just didn’t make sense – we were focusing on the behaviors and not the cause. 

Read More
The life preserver was gone
To this day, I vividly remember the calamity that was my life on a daily basis for so many years. The endless attempts to stay intoxicated – regardless of personal cost or consequence. Oblivious to the fact that the choices I made in these narcotic periods of haze were affecting people in my life – people I loved and cared for deeply. It was chaotic to say the least. Sleeping in cars, walking the streets, crashing on a dealer’s couch, floating in and out of state funded and private treatment programs and sober livings. I just couldn’t seem to get it right. Despite my efforts in convincing myself otherwise. It was only when I found intrinsic motivation to try something different that things began to change.
Without a doubt, my parents helped that along. They dissolved the financial support – the safety net when things really started getting rough. The life preserver was gone. The training wheels fell off and I was forced into situations that grew increasingly uncomfortable and untenable by the day. It was by allowing me to have that miserable series of experiences that I eventually found the motivation within myself, through my peers, and through a power greater than me, that allowed me to truly surrender, and become open to a new way of living.
I’m grateful for that opportunity today. Despite hating it at the time (even cursing it on occasion), despite how contradictory it felt to the fundamental idea of family – it worked. It might not have been the easiest ride for myself or my family or my friends to jump on, but the end result justified the means every step of the way. I firmly believe things might not look the way they do now without those principles and boundaries becoming the foundation of our interactions.
I try to bring that energy to my relationships with others I’m attempting to help today. I don’t always succeed – in fact I’ve fallen flat on my face more times than I can count. Just the other week I felt the tinge of desperation in trying to work something out for someone who just wasn’t ready (and ultimately didn’t want to get better in that moment). How interesting to find oneself on the other side of a situation that you used to put others through on a daily basis – to feel the pain of wanting something for someone who isn’t in a position to even identify the thought process of wanting it for themselves.
Read More
Save the Date - Power of PAL
The POWER of PAL is an experience of hope for all those affected by or connected to a loved one suffering from substance use disorder. It is an inspirational, informational and touching national event that will leave both in-person attendees and virtual viewers encouraged and wanting to stay connected.

Watch for more details
New PAL Meetings
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