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PAL helps families dealing with drug addictions in Valley

Posted at 5:17 AM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 09:26:31-05

PAL, a local non-profit, is giving hope to families dealing with loved ones addicted to drugs.

PAL stands for Parents of Addicted Loved Ones.

Groups meet every week across the country, according to PAL Chairman Kim Humphrey.

SECTION: Conquering Addiction

Demand for PAL support groups has dramatically increased, across the country says Humphrey. The non-profit receives phone calls and emails every day from parents needing help.

Humphrey says people often forget about how difficult the journey is for family members of an addict.

A few years ago, Humphrey was a Commander with Phoenix Police when his two sons became addicted to drugs.

"Here I was -- I worked for the police department," said Humphrey. "I thought I would have noticed these things but I didn't," said Humphrey.

Humphrey says he and his wife tried counseling, treatment centers but nothing worked.

Out of desperation, his wife found a PAL meeting.

"I got better and my wife got better before my sons got better," said Humphrey. "We as parents didn't even realize some of the things we were doing wasn't helping. Sometimes we have to actually say -- to our addicted loved ones -- helping is hurting."

PAL was founded in Arizona back in 2006 by Michael Speakman.

In 2015, Humphrey helped turn PAL into a non-profit which allows them to implement safeguards and bylaws to ensure the integrity of PAL.

"It's not so strict that there's no latitude in a meeting but it is strict enough so if a person shows up at a PAL meeting in Tennessee or Arizona -- it feels like a PAL meeting,'' said Humphrey.

At every PAL meeting, there's an education component and a support system.

Jerry and Paula Peña's son Casey battled an addiction to meth for years.

"You walk in there and you realize you're not alone," said Peña.

The couples says it wasn't until they joined PAL and started to get help on their own -- did their son finally get help.

"You cannot do it alone," said Peña. "You need a body of believers. You need PAL. "You need the help to get right because it's a wicked journey for anybody."