That sounds like Munchausen by proxy (forgive the spelling). Very serious disorder, especially since it involves the harming of others (e.g., children). I think Munchausen, alone, is when you harm yourself to get attention. The by proxy part is added if you harm someone else for attention, like a child.
It looks like it is a relatively rare disorder; not much is known about treatment, except that it rarely responds to psychotherapy.
Wow Ducky. That's a terribly sad situation. Your co-worker might want to consider family counseling for himself and his girls. Living with an alcoholic mother, and then having her taken from the home abruptly will have an impact on the girls--despite the fact that it sounds like she was abusive and needed to be taken away from the girls. Drunk driving?!?! With the kids in the car? Sounds like abuse to me--that's more than child negligence. I'm not sure that munchausen by proxy would fit the situation either. Alcoholism, alone, can do some drastrically horrible things to people. I hope everyone finds the help they need.
Oh my! Yeah, in a way many times it is not these peoples' own faults that they fall into a disaster like this. Something triggers this whether it be emotional scarring, depression, genetics, child abuse/molestation, addictive personalities.
A case of beer a day is not so outrageous for an alcoholic (in fact, that's pretty darn conservative to what I've seen!) LOL... but I'm sure she binges on a lot more than she may let on. Alcohol induced menatal deterioration (and even organ failure from alcohol) can cause the cookoos. Can cause frantic anger problems, psychosis too!
She would benefit to go to inpatient treatment. They may decide to do that instead of jail. Is she sentenced already? And in that...child endagerment, ya can't fool around with that. Better to keep them away before something terrible should happen.
You're a good friend to have such concern over this matter.
Well, a case of beer isn't all she drinks, that's just the beer... That doesn't include the vodka and everything else she can get her hands on.. Yeah she needs help, right now she is still in jail. My co-worker has to meet with a lawyer to try and find out the best plan of action, she isn't to come within 100 ft of her house or her kids, which of course right now isn't a problem since she's in jail, but if/when she gets out, it may be.. He's trying to do everything he can to protect himself and his kids, which I can understand, so her needs right now are not his priority, especially since he has given up on her... I am hoping that she gets treatment though, whatever they decide to do in the family, she really really needs the help... I just can't imagine anyone wanting to do something like that... that's just scary!