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Parents of Addicted Loved Ones
April 2017 Newsletter

In This Edition:
Message from the Board Chair
Learning to let go - A Family's Discovery
Estate Planning: Chaos Avoidance
Blog: Self Care is Anything But Selfish
Help Wanted - Job Opening
Top Golf FUN and Fundraiser coming in April
Arizona Gives Day - April 4
Sign up for Fry's Foods Rewards Program
I've actually been attending meetings for approximately two months. In the first 90 minute meeting, it changed mine and my husband's life, it truly gave us hope. I know that good things come from this program and I am willing to give back what I have received. Thank you for this opportunity.   New PAL Facilitator
by Kim Humphrey, PAL Board Chairman

Sometimes, all I can say is WOW!  Did you know in the last 6 weeks or so we have opened 10 new meetings across the country?  We have PAL meetings now in 20 states. We have nearly 120 trained facilitators and we have several more in the process of starting.  I like to practice gratitude whenever I can, even when things are not going so well but right now it's fairly easy to see we are being blessed with people willing to step up and start meetings.  They are going to bring hope to so many that are hurting around this issue of addiction. You will see under Help Wanted we would love to get more meetings going and we have a couple meetings that need facilitators. If you feel at all like this might be something you could do please see the Help Wanted section of this newsletter.

We sure appreciate our volunteer facilitators and if you haven’t done so, please thank them for their tireless efforts.  Please take a few minutes to read this newsletter which is full of great information.  Not only a great PAL story from parents, but our counselor is back with his blog on self-care. We also are featuring an article written by an attorney who wrote a book on estate planning when you have someone with addiction. 

I remember when my wife and I sat down and thought about what would our sons do if something tragic happened to her and me.  What if whatever we left behind went to our (at the time both using heroin / meth) sons?.  What a nightmare for them and our family. We met with an attorney and adjusted our trust so that they would not receive a windfall of money. We decided that they could have money for treatment and health care, otherwise they would not receive their inheritance until they were much older. Of course how you word your plan (Will or Trust) is a personal thing. But PAL had taught us that any large sum of money given to someone in the throes of addiction might be their ultimate downfall.  If you have ever thought about this, please read the included article and consider ordering her book to help guide you through this process. Not something we want to think about but one of those responsible loving things to do!

Lastly, If you recall last year we had a fundraising effort asking meetings to consider raising $250 to help start a new meeting.  We have been notifying the new meetings who their sponsor meetings were and I thought I would share this email I received from a group that was notified of their being sponsored by another group.
Dear PAL Team:
 "Thank you for welcoming me and raising the money for this group! I very much appreciate all you do! As a parent of a heroin addict, PAL has educated me on how not to enable, but instead help in healthy ways. As soon as I read through the first lesson, Delayed Emotional Growth, so many of my questions were answered and gave me such HOPE! I knew right away this Christian-based, educational-support group would help others in my community as well. My small town of about 23,000 have a drug epidemic on our hands and I want to help combat it. I feel with all my heart, by educating myself and others in this same battle, we can fight!  I believe together, with God, we will have the knowledge, weapons and armor we need to fight this epidemic! Since I started the group …, average attendance is 8. I know without a doubt this number will grow. Knowledge is key. Thank you for the opportunity to pay it forward!"  New PAL Facilitator



Learning to let go - A Family's Discovery

We had to learn to move on with life!
Mysterious charges kept showing up on our credit card bill. Those unfamiliar charges were what triggered our trip into the world of addiction.  

We disputed the charges, of course. We were told we needed to make a police report.  When the police arrived at our home and heard what was happening, they wanted to talk to our son, privately.  After the conversation with our son we learned that he was making the charges to our account to support his heroin addiction.

We gave him a choice to either go to rehab OR to leave our home. He chose to leave.  That Christmas, our son was living in his car that was parked in the WalMart lot with temperatures in the single digits.  This was a very difficult and emotional time for us resulting in many sleepless nights. We continually questioned if we were doing the right thing.  Every time the phone rang, we looked at each other wondering if it was going to be that dreadful call.  

After about 10 days of living in his car, our son decided he would go to rehab. We were able to help him find a rehab a short time later.  As we were sitting in the waiting room for his intake to begin, we didn’t know what to expect and were overwhelmed with a mix of feelings – worry, uncertainty and hope.  We felt lucky as the facility offered a group session for the parents of the addicts once-a-week.  In the coming months we became “regulars” in attendance, and we could tell who was there for the first time. We could see the look on their faces, it was the same look we had that first day.  

Listening to the addict’s stories, I wondered if there was an addict's manual or something the facilitators followed, as all the stories seemed to be quite similar.  Each started with alcohol or a different drug: marijuana, Oxycodone or Percocet; then, each moved on to heroin.  They all seemed to know about buying gift cards and selling them on the black market for pennies on the dollar, going to gas stations and asking for money for gas to get back home as they had forgotten their wallet.  They related stories of stealing from family and friends or just anyone that presented an opportunity.  The stories the addicts made up to get money or to just cover their tracks were different, but all the same.

Hearing how some of them have been through rehab 6, 8 or 12 times, made us question, “Does the current rehab model really work?”  He was released from rehab after 90 days, and we had our son back.  Everything seemed fine for the first couple of weeks.  But then, little signs started to show up.  Eventually we learned of his relapse.  Looking back on it now, we were overly optimistic that his first time through rehab was going to solve the problem.  We wished we had the teachings of PAL back then.  His relapse resulted in another trip to rehab.  This time he didn’t want to be there.  He was uncooperative with the program.  After two weeks, he was released with a list of things he was to do, to work on his sobriety, none of which he followed through on.

We made the hard decision. He could no longer live with us.  He was given a list of shelters and offered a ride to one of his choosing, which he declined.  He ended up at his grandparents, they took him into their home.  We told his grandparents of his lying, stealing and sneaking around. We told them about finding needles and heroin wrappers.  

They believed none of it. They thought we were bad parents for throwing him out in the middle of the cold winter. They said, “No grandchild of ours will be homeless.”  To this day, this creates tension in the family.  

As we were going through all the struggles of his addiction, we were looking for something in our area to support the families going through these trials.  We found one Al-Anon 12-Step program in our area, and after attending a few meetings, we decided that the 12-Step program was not something that was right for us at this time.  All the while, we felt drawn to start a group ourselves. However, we felt conflicted about coming out in our church, as to having to admit having this problem in our family.  After hearing a sermon from a young man in our church who was filling in for our regular pastor about his own struggles with depression, we felt he was brave to come forward with his issue and I knew it was time to step forward.  After hearing the sermon, I told my wife, “It’s time to start a support group.”  She agreed with the idea 100 percent. Actually, she had been praying about this for some time and was waiting on God’s timing.

We knew we needed help and resources, and that starting something from scratch was beyond our knowledge base.  It was back to the computer, “Ok Google” search: addiction support groups.  And, that is how we found PAL!  There was a group meeting in a city just a few hours drive for us.  So two days later we made the drive and attended our first PAL meeting.  The group was very friendly and supportive. They made us feel welcome.  We knew at the end of the meeting, we found what we were looking for, a program that involved prayer and educated us as well as provided a venue to support one another.   

After reaching out to PAL and receiving the facilitator training materials, we started our group with the support of our church's pastor.  We are a small group and sometimes it is just us and one other couple, and sometimes we have had 6-8 people in our group.  We hope that through the flyers and word of mouth people who need us will find us. Through God and the teachings of PAL we are committed to families in need and will continue to look forward to helping anyone that comes through the PAL door. PAL has helped us to let go and move forward even though our son still struggles and others in his life continue to enable him. PAL has given us the courage to stay the course.     
 Mike and Karen (PAL Parents)

By Kelli E. Brown, J.D., LL.M.
            When there is a teen or adult child who struggles with addiction, there is often chaos in the lives of the parents. The focus, the eye of the storm, so to speak, tends to be on the addicted person and promoting recovery. Estate planning for the parents is often overlooked as a necessary element and can be one of the most important actions a family can ever undertake. 
             Estate Planning allows a parent to choose who is in charge in the event of his or her incapacity or death. An addicted child who is not in recovery is not a good candidate to be in charge of a parent if he or she cannot make decisions for him or herself nor is that addicted person a good person to be in charge of the adminsitration of a parent’s estate upon death.
            With a Power of Attorney document, a parent can designate who makes his or her financial decisions if he or she becomes incapacitated. With a health care document, the parent makes certain decisions for him or herself concerning health care which can include life-sustaining treatment if a vegitative state exists and also who makes his or her medical decisions. States have different names for this document. Some states call then “Living Wills” or “Health Care Directives.” 
            An Executor is a person named within a Last Will and Testament document to be in charge of the probate estate after death. An Executor is a very powerful and important job. He or she likely reports to a court and will wrap up the legal affairs of a person’s life – the Executor will marshal all assets subject to your last will and testament, file last tax returns, sell real estate or terminate the apartment lease, disburse personal property, and choose and hire an attorney (if needed). It’s a lot of work.  
            Failing to have these documents can leave open the possibility that an addicted child will be in charge. For example, if a parent becomes incapacitated and he or she does not have a financial or health care document, an adult addicted child could apply to a court to be vested with rights to act on behalf of the parent. It would then be incumbent upon other family members (like non-addicted children) to step forward and protest the appointment.  This is not a good situation for any person and all could have been avoided with properly drafted documents. 
            Estate Planning allows a parent to restrict certain assets like money and personal property from being passed to an addicted child upon the death of a parent. There are several estate planning options available to a parent with an addicted child, from the most simple (disinheritance) to the complicated (which often involves a trust). Most parents fall in between the simple and the complex. Some parents, for example, just want to make sure an addicted child does not have access to family heirlooms such as grandma’s wedding ring. Other parents may want to make sure that an addicted adult child will not receive any funds in a lump sum for fear that he or she will use the funds to harm themselves.  Well drafted estate planning documents dictate how assets pass upon the death of a parent.   
            Estate Planning can be tailored for the parent’s situation.  I have given hundreds of talks about estate planning. Many times audenice members express to me that estate planning with an attorney is only for the wealthy. Nonesense. In my opinion, the probates that stay open the longest and spend more of the deceased person’s assets are the ones where the deceased person failed to plan. Why? Because when there is not a estate plan, everyone wants to be in charge and no one agrees about much. This is especially true when there is an adult child struggling with addiction. Siblings are left fighting about who gets what and who is in charge. Again, estate planning would have eliminated these arguments.   
            Estate planning allows a parent to make the difficult decisions that need to be made such as the appropriate person to handle his or her money and health care decisions in the event of incapacity. Also, a estate planning documents which take effect at death should be drafted to indicate how the assets should pass and the person to be in charge.
            By completing estate planning, the chaos that would have otherwise come to the family after a parent’s death can be eliminated and that is a last true gift from a parent. 

             If you are interested in learning more, contact an estate planner or your family attorney. Also the article writer recently published a book Estate Planning when you have an Addicted Child now available on Amazon. 
KELLI E. BROWN is a partner with Goldberg Simpson in Louisville, Kentucky. She earned her J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law and was awarded her LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami. Licensed to practice in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Kelli focuses her practice on estate planning, probate, and estate administration. She is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is AV rated with Martindale-Hubbell. Kelli is a 2015 Justice Thomas B. Spain Award Winner and recently published a book Estate Planning when you have an Addicted Child now available on Amazon ($14.95).
Self-Care is Anything But Selfish
One of the many dysfunctions that can arise in our experiences with our addicted loved one is the tendency to organize our life around the addict; much the same way that the addict organizes his or her life around their drug of choice.  The addict, if allowed, will eventually dominate the landscape of our life; their well-being becomes our sole focus and primary mission. 
We increasingly reroute our time, energy and resources from our own self-care to the task of fixing the problem; convinced that if the addict gets well everything will be “okay.”  This continual neglect of ourselves and those around us has profoundly negative effects.  A few examples are:
  • Deteriorating physical health
  • Loss of emotional well-being i.e. joy, peace, confidence
  • Isolation and alienation from friends and co-workers
  • Jobs jeopardized through excessive time off and declining performance
  • Marriage and family upheaval
Just like the addict, we must begin to reclaim our life and learn how to live healthy again; emotionally, physically, spiritually, and relationally.  We must choose “us.”  We must choose our own health.  This act is not selfish.  This act is necessary.  The act of choosing “us” everyday will not only result in a transformation of our life, but free us from the codependent cycle that traps us and our loved one.  We can begin growing and thriving again; setting a new pattern for the addict to follow, should they choose.
So start today.  Make a commitment to put your welfare first.  Set a boundary.  Take a walk.  Talk to a friend.  Pray.  Attend a PAL Group meeting.  Take a modest step and begin caring for yourself.  It will be one of the most unselfish things you can do.

Ron Paterik is a practicing psychotherapist in Phoenix, Arizona with over 20 years experience. He is a licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor and also a Whole Life Leadership Mentor at Grand Canyon Counseling.
Job:  Facilitators for PAL
Pay: Blessing the lives of people who are hurting and looking for hope like you
Where needed: All over the country to start meetings 
What is my first step? Reply to this email or email us at
Two open meetings that currently need a facilitator:
           Phoenix needed now :3901 E Indian School Rd,Tuesday Evenings
           Needed soon in Phoenix: 16215 N. Tatum Blvd., Wednesday Evenings                                      
Please let us know if you would like to start a meeting or can help with the ones listed above, we will follow up with you about expectations, training etc.  Thank you!!!
PAL’s 2nd Annual 100 BALL BASH
April 29th 2017 at 9:00 AM
At TopGolf
Hosted By
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

What is TopGolf? 
TopGolf is a premier golf entertainment complex where players, at any skill level, hit golf balls containing computer micro-chips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. It’s like a driving range, bowling alley and an arcade all in a state-state-of-the-art climate controlled facility.
GOLFERS/PLAYERS – Remember no experience necessary!
To get started as a golfer/player your $100 minimum donation includes:
            3 hours of FUN in a group of 6 to hit 100 balls in 3 hours
            Chances to win fabulous, fun prizes!
            A tasty breakfast and beverages
            And, a donation to PAL!
Help raise additional FUNds, we ask that you try to get sponsors/pledges for your game. For example, if someone pledges .25 cents per ball x 100 balls = $25 donation, or .50 cents per ball = $50 donation to PAL!  We hope to raise as much as we can for PAL. There is a convenient website for your donors to sign-up to sponsor you!
Family and Friends – Please join in the FUN, be a cheerleader, if you do not want to play. We ask for a $50 donation to cover food and beverage expenses and make a small donation.
If you are interested in having FUN register online:
Golfers, Cheerleaders and Donors can register at

Or contact us at if you have questions
or you can call us at 480-300-4712
April 4, 2017 is a big day – Save the Date!

PAL is participating in #AZGivesDay, a 24-hour day of statewide giving,
and would greatly appreciate your support.

Please help us spread the word or, even better,
schedule your gift in advance by clicking here.
Fry's Foods - It's easy and again, it's free.  If you live in Arizona, please connect your Fry's Foods rewards to our account. Its easy- and again its free. Please share with all of your family and friends to help PAL every time you shop! Click here for instructions on signing up for Frys Foods Community Rewards Program.
Donate Now! (click here)
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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 3325
Gilbert AZ 85299
Phone : 480-300-4712
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