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Parents with an adult child dealing with substance use disorder involving either drugs or alcohol find hope and support through Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL). Meetings are available all over the country, and lives are being changed every day. It’s not an easy journey, but you don’t have to go at it alone.
Three journeys just like yours.
“Finding out that a loved one is using drugs or alcohol can be difficult. There can be a lot of lying and denial. Once you know for sure, the next question is: What now?“
There have been times that my sons made me so proud and other times it was impossible for me to even pick out a birthday card for them because none of the cards fit the way I really felt.
We are parents of a 28-year-old son who struggles with alcohol abuse and mental illness that he was diagnosed with at a young age…
"PAL brought back hope, sanity and purpose in our lives. We have learned to live again. We are thankful for what we have learned and for all of the parents who have stood with us. Today, we feel blessed to stand with others as they venture down this road that no one would ask for.”
– Anonymous PAL Dad
You are not alone.
To have a child lost to alcohol or drug addiction is to suffer a thousand deaths. The more you try to save them from their addiction the more it burns a hole in your heart. Watching their light fall away into darkness, you enter your own world of pain. But while you may feel stranded by fear and confusion, you are not alone.
We’ve been there.
PAL is a nonprofit that provides hope through education and support to parents of adults dealing with substance use disorder.
The free weekly meetings follow evidence-based practices, and the curriculum used is designed specifically for parents by professionals in the treatment and recovery industry. Each session includes:
- An educational component that offers tools for parents to use when to trying to save a son or daughter from addiction, including ways to help them in a healthy way rather than enable their addiction.
- A time for parents to interact, sharing what has worked – and has not worked – for them in their community.
Not only is the physical and emotional health of parents improved, but in many cases their adult addicted loved one is led to seek recovery. Researchers from Northern Arizona University have studied PAL and determined that after participating in the PAL program:
- Parents’ wellbeing improved.
- Parents decreased their tendency to engage in enabling and co-dependency behaviors.
- PAL participants’ addicted loved ones were less likely to misuse substances.
"Twelve years of heavy drug use had left me a shell of a person. In the early years, my parents enabled me. They indirectly supported my addiction by providing me with financial means and a place to stay. They fruitlessly tried to plead with me, rescue me, and place me in situations where they thought I’d get help. I can look back and see that the beginning of the end was when they got involved with PAL. When they not only learned how to help me – but actively implemented those strategies into our relationship, and most importantly, when they stuck with it, even when they didn’t want to.
PAL is one of the greatest blessings in my life.”
– Sean, in long-term recovery
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Our blog contains stories from the PAL monthly eNewsletter. We feature columns by parents like you, by counselors, and by people in recovery. They offer ongoing sources of information, insight, and hope.
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