Most families know that one of the tremendous tolls addiction takes on a family is financial. Mixed in with the emotional trauma and the whirlwind of problems of dealing with a son or daughter suffering from addiction is, many times, an overwhelming financial burden. Most families do not escape this issue as they try desperately to “save” their loved one, willing to spend whatever resources they have in an attempt to turn the tide. My wife and I were caught up as well, trying to “buy,” our way out of this problem, and I will never forget when the Founder of PAL, Mike Speakman, told us, “Money is your enemy, you would be better off if you had no resources.”
The truth is that we all too often think something as simple as paying for one more treatment program or one more car payment or rent or whatever it is we are being manipulated into paying for, that it will somehow be the thing that will make things better. The truth is, most parents would give all of their money if they knew what would save their loved ones. What I learned over time was that money was not the answer any more than just wishing they would get better.
I have witnessed people spend everything they had, depleted their 401K’s, mortgaged their houses, all in desperate attempts to save a loved one only to see them relapse again and again. PAL has a new facilitator in our ranks, Fred Leamnson in Virginia. He is a financial planner and last summer he wrote a blog about his experience with this issue and the financial toll this takes on families. We featured this blog in a recent PAL newsletter, and Money Magazine picked up on this blog and reached out to Fred about doing an article on this very topic. Fred told them about PAL and shortly thereafter, we were contacted by a reporter doing a story on this topic. That story is featured in Money magazine in the December 2018 issue which came online this morning and will hit the newsstands in about a week.
I want to thank Fred for his willingness to share his story and for the fact that it has led to an interest in PAL. It is our desire that people will read this and find hope, and that because of it more people will benefit from PAL as we each have benefitted. I pray this will be an amazing opportunity for us to spread the word and reach out to more and more hurting families.
Executive Director, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL)