Regular readers of Money with a Purpose have read our story of dealing with an addicted son. The December issue of Money Magazine tells the story of how four sets of parents are cutting off their opioid-addicted kids. Cathy and I are two of those parents.
Here's the genesis of the story.
Kristen Bahler, the reporter, and writer of the story reached out to me after reading our story on this blog. Another reporter in her group had read the story and told her about it. After reading, she reached out to see if I'd be willing to talk about the possibility of being interviewed for a story, and I agreed.
In the initial conversation, she mentioned it would be a relevant story. At the time, she hadn't talked about it with her editors. She cautioned that it might not happen. I was okay with that.
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It's about financial consequences
Initially, the request from Kristen puzzled me. Why was there interest in a story on addiction?
The answer made perfect sense. The financial mess that came from our journey really moved her. She thought covering the story from that angle would be a fit for Money. After a lengthy conversation about our journey, I recommended she get in touch with the PAL Group.
Pal, which stands for Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, is an organization I discovered last summer. They offer a support group specifically designed for parents of addicted loved ones. Their mission is to help start groups across the country.
I reached out to them shortly after hearing about them. I talked to my church to see about starting a group. That process all began in July. I had several conversations with Kim Humphrey, the director of the PAL Group. In short order, he pointed me to the training, which I promptly started. We had our first local PAL meeting on September 17, 2018. We just finished our ninth session.
The PAL connection
After giving Kim's contact information to Kristen, I didn't hear from her for a few weeks. I reached out to her to see if there would be a story.
She said her editors approved the story and she was working on writing it. She told me she talked with Kim at PAL and he referred her to several other families willing to speak. Kim and I were thrilled at the prospect of getting the story of addiction and its impact on families in Money. Too many suffer in silence and shame.
We discovered that not only was the story approved, but it would be the cover story in both the print and online versions of the December issue!
What? A feature story in a national magazine?
We are forever grateful to Kristen Bahler, for her persistence, and willingness to tell our stories. In a conversation along the way, Kristen shared that the primary reason for her working on the story was the desire to help other families dealing with addiction. It's an epidemic that leaves families searching for help and a place to meet others going through the same thing.
Please take the time to read the story and learn what it's like for those of us living with addiction in our families.
Kim Humphrey was sitting in a sea of chairs, surrounded by about 40 people he had never met, when the Phoenix police officer finally realized what a train wreck his life was. He didn't want to talk about it. Especially to a bunch of strangers.
There are hope, encouragement and good news in many of these stories. There is hope in our story as well.
Our son, Jason, is on the verge of getting into a long-term treatment program. For the first time in eleven years, he has the desire to get better. He has one more hurdle to climb. We are praying for a good outcome and trusting God to bring it about.
If you or someone you know has a son or daughter dealing with addiction, please refer them to the PAL Group to find support. If there isn't a group in their area, they will help start one as they did for us. In the interim, they offer phone meetings twice a week until a local group can start.
Don't go through this alone. Other parents with sons and daughters addicted understand. Reach out to them. Get the education and support you need.
Reach out to Cathy and me. We are all in this together.