If you are a parent of an addicted loved one or know someone who is, you are invited to join a weekly group support meeting, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL).
When family members realize that a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, a broad range of feelings often arise: anger, guilt, fear, loss, denial. The next big question is often, What now?
RBC hosts a weekly PAL support group to educate and help each other with issues arising from loving someone with an addiction. Each PAL group is facilitated by a peer who is walking the same path. While the focus is on parents with an addicted child, all family members and friends age 18 and older are welcome to attend PAL meetings. Meetings are open to anyone of any faith or background, as our primary goal is to provide hope through education and support for those dealing with addicted loved ones.
What to Expect at a PAL Group Meeting
There are two parts to a PAL group meeting: an educational component and a sharing component. Typical PAL meetings follow the same general pattern. Each meeting begins with prayer, followed by the stating of group guidelines, introductions, then exploration and discussion of an educational topic. Lastly, members have an opportunity to share what’s going on in their present struggles or victories with their loved one, and then the meeting ends with prayer. During discussion and sharing, differences in opinion are heard without judgment, and suggestions are offered in lieu of advice. Because everyone experiences the journey at their own pace and is supported by the group regardless, participants are encouraged to “take what works and leave the rest.”
Meeting Time and Location
PAL meets on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Reston Bible Church Youth Building. As you enter the church property, the Youth Building is on the left, with its own parking lot. The group will meet in the Junior High room, which is on the left as you walk in the front door.
No registration is required and no attendance is recorded. We are serious about protecting the privacy of those who attend. What goes on in the meetings and who attends are confidential.
Fred Leamnson will serve as facilitator. If you have any questions, you can send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Word from the Facilitator
My name is Fred Leamnson. My wife Cathy and I are the parents of an adult son who’s an addict. His drug of choice is heroin. We dealt with his addiction for the past eleven years. We’re happy to report that in May 2018, our son went into recovery. He’s been sober since May 27, 2018. God truly does answer prayer. In our minds and his, he is a living example of one of God’s miracles.
Here is one thing Cathy and I know for certain: Parents dealing with an adult son or daughter who is an addict have a special set of problems. They often feel alone, embarrassed, and isolated. When they muster up the courage to talk to friends, it often isn’t helpful.
For years we’ve been praying about and hoping for a recovery group focused on parents. At long last, one is here.
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) was developed by Mike Speakman, a Christian who spent over thirty years as an addiction counselor and saw this need in the recovery system. PAL provides hope and support through addiction education for parents dealing with an addicted loved one. Please watch the video below to hear from PAL attendees’ experiences as participants in the group.Learn more about PAL