Posted by: | 2018/09/21

Helping a friend

My friend's husband's drinking has become a problem. He suffers from depression and at this point he is not accepting help. Problem is that I'm worried about their kids since he is drinking every day and then has to pick them up from school in a state. My friend was not here this week so she is not aware. I want to tell her what happened so that she knows basically not to leave the kids with him or ask him to pick them up. How do I handle this?

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Our expert says:
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- 2018/09/21

I'd be interested to hear what other readers think about this sort of situation, as it's more of a social dilemma than a strictly medical issue. 
You are describing a man with at least 2 major and significant psychiatric disorders, alcoholism and depression.  Both can respond well to proper treatment, but this would only be likely to be effective if the person sincerely collaborated in that treatment.  In this case, maybe the alcoholism would need to be a priority, as alcoholism is likely to worsen depression and alcohol intake would sabotage the effectiveness of any antidepressants he might be given.
But you raise another vital issue : as a drunk, while medicines might impair his driving skills and reaction times, alcohol absolutely always would do so, which endangers not only himself, but also his children, and other drivers, pedestrians and children on the roads.  He has a responsibility not merely to feel sorry for himself, but to actively get proper treatment for everyone's sake. 
Your friend surely should know about her husband's drinking and driving ; perhaps she's not aware that others know, and she might not be thinking of the dangers to the children and other people.
If she is, indeed, a friend of yours, surely you could, and should, tactfully talk to her and urge her to persuade her husband to see an expert for assessment and advice, and the treatment he needs.

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