Enough already

BY WILLIAM MOYERS Published: May 29, 2012
Rarely do I go back to back on the same topic. But I'm awash in readers' responses to a daughter's plea about her alcoholic mother, so here we go.

Last week, Cathy W. from Milwaukee asked, "When is enough enough?" Her family wants to do something to help her mother, whose denial is killing her and grinding down everyone who loves her.

Don't wait, I told Cathy. Do an intervention for the family's sanity, whether her mother accepts the help or not.

Not everyone agreed.

"A drunk who's drinking can't be stopped and probably won't," wrote Ross K. from Springfield, Ill. "(Cathy) can't do anything. She should just let her (mother) drink herself to death if that's the outcome, because it is her mother's choice, her mother's life, not hers. She should just stay away."

A harsh sentiment shared by a few readers — and one I heartily disagree with.

Maureen C.'s response reflects what most of you want Cathy to know: that it is never too early — but don't let it get too late — to try to help somebody trapped in the throes of alcohol or other drugs. Never mind that Maureen is a colleague of mine. She comes at this as a mother:

"Dear Cathy: My son is an alcoholic. He's been sober for almost 19 months now. We tried very hard to tell him the deadly effects of what he was doing to his body by drinking and especially being a heavy drinker.

"Two years ago, my husband and I decided my family had had enough of my son's drinking every day. We took him to a hospital in the Twin Cities, where he went through withdrawal. I stayed with him. They did numerous blood tests and even an ultrasound of his liver.

"My son was in the hospital for two weeks. We brought him home, and he began his journey in recovery. We are so proud of our son and all he has accomplished in his sobriety.

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