Support group launches for families of the addicted

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

The opioid epidemic is a crisis affecting communities all across the country. A local woman in Yadkin County is doing what she can to support families struggling with a drug-addicted loved one.

Luann Gibbons said it has been on her heart for several years now to find a way to help families dealing with this issue. On Jan. 8, she will host the first support group meeting of PAL — Parents of Addicted Loved Ones.

“By attending these meetings, family members learn proven ways to help their loved ones recover from addiction, primarily by focusing on their own education and growth. Once family members learn how to help their addicted loved one in a healthy way, many times the addicted seeks recovery,” Gibbons explained.

PAL is faith-based Christian organization with a mission to provide hope through education and support to parents of addicted loved ones. The organization was founded by Michael Speakman in 2006. It was incorporated as a non-profit in 2015 in Arizona and is now expanding nationally.

The meetings are open to anyone of any faith and/or background who is seeking help with this issue. Board members and volunteer facilitators sign a statement of faith and agree to abide by the guiding principles.

The meetings will be held every Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at East Bend United Methodist Church, located at 214 Main St. in East Bend.

The meetings are offered at no charge and are meant to offer education and support for parents who are dealing with a son or daughter suffering from addiction. PAL is also open to all sober family members and friends who are 18 years and older.

For more information, visit or contact Gibbons at 336-782-5029.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison