GEORGETOWN, Ky. (FOX 56) – More than 2,200 drug overdose death in Kentucky in 2021.

This is an alarming stat, leaving many families of the victims wondering what could’ve been done to prevent tragedies. As any parent knows, raising a child comes with a number of challenges.

For Tracy Griffieth of Sadieville, that challenge was one she never expected to face. Her son is among the many people across Kentucky and the nation battling substance abuse.

Blaming herself, Griffieth questions where she could’ve gone wrong with her son, and how she could support him through his journey to recovery. Desperate for answers and help, she found the group Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL).

Griffieth said it came at one of the lowest points in her life.

“I got a video of him very high. It was earth-shattering,” Griffieth described. “It destroyed me, and I became incredibly desperate. At that point, because I did not know what to do. I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t work. I was so desperate because I just knew I was going to lose my son.”

PAL is exactly what it sounds like, a support group for parents who have loved ones with substance abuse issues. The group’s founder saw there was a need for families nationwide.

Griffieth says as much as it is a journey for people with addictions to recover, families go through a completely different but equally treacherous one.

Each PAL meeting has two components:

  1. An educational component that offers tools for participants to use such as ways to help rather than enable.
  2. A support component where participants interact, sharing what has worked – and has not worked – for them in their community.

Sometimes Griffieth said it is all about your approach when helping a loved one.

“I cannot continue to save him from himself,” Griffieth explained. “He has to suffer because the only way he will learn is to face the consequences of his decision. Something as simple as, ‘Hey, Mom, you know I’m hungry, can you give me some money to get some food?’ Well, no, but I’ll feed you. I’m not going to give you any money, because ultimately, what happens with that money is you buy drugs with it.”


For parents who are on the fence about attending a PAL meeting, Griffieth said:

“Don’t give up hope as long as they’re breathing. There’s hope finding a place where you can be heard and understood and people that can say, I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there. And, you know, here’s some pointers. Here are some things that I did because, you know, like, I said there’s no handbook that tells you what to do and how to fix it.”

PAL has weekly meetings statewide:

  • Ashland: Heritage Free Will Baptist, Tuesday’s 6-7 p.m.
  • Bardstown: Bardstown First Christian Church, Thursday’s 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Danville: First Christian Church, Monday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Florence: Crossroads Church, Tuesday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Georgetown: Northside Christian Church, Monday’s 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Latonia: Catholic Charities, Wednesday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Lawrenceburg: Anderson Christian Church, Thursday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Louisville: Okolona Christian Church OCC, Thursday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Louisville: South East Christian Church-Blankenbaker Campus, Tuesday’s 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Louisville: St. John Paul II Parish, Sunday’s 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Paintsville: The 404, Tuesday’s 6-7:30 p.m.

Meetings go through nine core lessons ranging from the addiction cycle to steps towards recovery to enabling behaviors.

For more information on PAL, you can find it here.