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I would like to tell you this great news that all is well, that we have beat down this drug crisis and the United States has one less problem to worry about. Unfortunately, that would not only not be the truth but these days it seems difficult to find something positive around us. I don’t want to be cynical, I am just being honest that it seems like finding that silver lining is getting harder and harder.
I know I have mentioned this and most of you are aware, but the drug and alcohol addiction problem is getting more and more news coverage as we face the worst crisis of this issue in our history. Locally, in our county, overdoses are up over 160%. We thought it was bad until the pandemic created a perfect storm for this issue to really take hold again. We are starting to get more and more requests on how to get meetings going even as the pandemic continues to make holding meetings difficult. Lately, the word “help” is the primary word used in many of the emails we receive.  
As this new year started, we are committed to being innovative and to finding as many ways as we can to get local meetings started and supported and to get the word out about PAL.  I would like to personally appeal to anyone out there who has benefited from PAL to consider being a local facilitator and helping us get meetings into areas we currently do not have them. This is a new year, a chance for new beginnings and as they say we cannot do this without you. Please consider being a part of helping as this problem looks worse than it ever has in the past.  
If you are not able to help in that way, would you consider volunteering in other ways. Currently we need people to help from your own home and your own computer in getting the word out about PAL. We have a number of projects that we need help on and we will give you all the supplies and support you need to help us get the information into places where it needs to go. Contact us at if you want to learn more and we will be happy to provide it to you. 
As our country faces many issues and has been tested on many fronts recently, I believe the addiction issue will be front and center soon with no way to ignore the devastating effects it is having on our families. Will you help us help those who are struggling and asking for help – and looking for hope. 

As I sit here wrapping this up, I now know what the silver lining is. It’s people. I know and trust that some of you will step forward.  My focus has been on the storm in front me and not on the people who are doing what they can to fight it back.
Thank you for all you do and all you WILL do to help PAL and to help one another in these extraordinary times.  
Kim Humphrey
Pause When Agitated or Doubtful
Common traits amongst addicts that can affect interactions with parents
Regularly, I hear baffled parents recount interactions with their addicted children, wondering things such as: Why did I agreed to that? How did I get talked into this? I can’t believe I said that to my kid! I totally went back on what I and my spouse agreed to. I am able to be completely logical in most situations, why can’t I be when I am talking to my son/daughter?

These interactions leave parents wondering how they allow themselves to be manipulated or distracted from how they intended to respond to their child.

What happens?

I can’t answer that thoroughly in 1,000 words or less, but here are some concepts to reflect upon that may help you to understand what is happening.

To start, let’s discuss a couple of traits that are common amongst addicts.

First, they are often emotional and desperate, leading them (knowingly or unknowingly) to set up situations and interactions that they perceive as emergencies. High drama is often created by ignoring life’s daily maintenance. So, when things go wrong or threaten to have consequences their problems become urgent and highly emotional. Sometimes these emotional situations are a tactic to get what they want or avoid what they do not
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The gift of not feeling judged

I have three adult children – two boys and one girl. I was married to their father for 18 years, who was an active alcoholic that entire time. Two of my children are married and have children. I have been happily married to my current husband for 20 years who also has three adult children and two grandchildren.
My son with addiction issues is my youngest – he is 28 – and has a one-year-old daughter whom no one in the family has a relationship with, by choice of her mother. He was a happy, easy-going kid until he discovered marijuana at age 15. He had been very active in sports and was particularly gifted at diving. He was diagnosed with ADD by a counselor he was seeing and given a prescription for a low-dose medication. It worked well, and his grades went up exponentially. Then he decided to substitute those meds with marijuana which he began using much more than we realized. His high school years were hell for us between his behavior and attitude. We allowed him to suffer every consequence he encountered, yet it didn't faze him enough to change.
He moved out of our home to his father's house his senior year of high school and his life spiraled downward from that point on for many years. He has been in jail for drug-related offenses in three states for a few months at a time; he has been homeless for short periods of time; and he has worked so many jobs that I lost count years ago. He went to rehab for the first time last March. To my knowledge he has relapsed two times since June of last year. He lives 2,000 miles away from us so the only information we have is what he gives us.
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Latest NAU study results out
The results are back on the latest NAU study of PAL’s effectiveness, and the answer is an unequivocal WOW!
Researchers offered pre-tests to new PAL members who agreed to participate in the surveys, and then post-tests after about four months of attending PAL. While the pandemic impacted the number of participants, the overall findings are impressive.
After participating in the PAL program:
  1. Member wellbeing improved, they were happier, felt more joyful and more hopeful about their future.
  2. Members were less likely to engage in enabling and co-dependent behaviors.
  3. The member’s addicted loved one was less likely to be using drugs and/or drinking alcohol.
The results are in line with the preliminary studies, but the big news is the third item – this is the first evidence of what many facilitators have observed: parents’ involvement with PAL and practicing the principles taught by PAL impact the behavior of their addicted loved one.
Upon recommendation of the research team, the study will be continued to engage more participants and help solidify the data.

Meet Terri Cox

Touching lives through technology
It was a little over two years ago when Terri Cox received a magazine article that her son-in-law saw – the cover story of Money magazine, highlighting Parents of Addicted Loved Ones.
“He knew I was really struggling with my daughter, so he thought I might be interested,” Terri recalls. “I reached out right away!”
Finding hope on the phone
Terri attended the national call-in meetings, not just because there wasn’t a meeting near her Texas home, but because she is confined to her bed after two severe back injuries. “I broke my back in a car accident when I was 15,” she says, “and then in 2010 I fell off a roof.” The injuries led to spinal arachnoiditis, a painful condition that keeps her confined to a hospital bed in her living room 90 percent of the time.
Technology has been a huge blessing in her life, however. She has two grandchildren who live in Tennessee, but she Skypes with them regularly. Her third grandchild – a 9-year-old girl who’s “super-smart with a bubbly personality” ironically is also confined to bed with a genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy. Diagnosed at four months old, she can’t move or talk, but is able to use eye movement to speak through a computer.
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The bridge out of growth

I spent many years of my life in a position of pain and emotional struggle. I had difficulty with even the most basic human interactions and responsibilities. I quite literally lost the ability to function as a normal person. And throughout the whole ordeal, there were several times where all I could see was darkness. I fundamentally believed and internalized the idea that life was hard: that life was pain and misery. And in doing so, I perpetuated that myth in my own head for far longer than I ever should have. Living in this mindset will almost certainly guarantee and manifest an experience of struggle throughout your existence on this physical plane.
After being beaten down by my disease time after time – year after year, I saw the end of it borne through hope. I saw a new dawn of success and achievement in the lives of people who were exactly like myself. Through their experience, strength, and hope – through God’s use of their lives as a demonstration to me, the cornerstone of my personal recovery was built. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Those people made this possible for me. God worked through them to affect change in my life. He had done this for years – It just took an immense amount of hardship and internal struggle to gain the perspective to see.
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