Would I turn in a friend who was abusing his child? Yes.
Would I turn in a friend who was smoking pot? No.
Would I turn in a friend who was smoking pot with his ten year old child? Yep.
The answers to these questions are not just topical, but they need to be addressed by the severity of the behavior.
Child abuse is always severe. This is a criminal act against a helpless kid by an adult. It should never happen more than once if I find out about it. Some people would argue, “I would try to get my friend into counseling to help him or her with anger management.” That is a nice idea AFTER the abusive parent has been removed from the home and has no chance of hurting the child anymore.
Then, they can get all the therapy they need while serving their jail sentence.
Child abuse is not a one time action. If the parent does it, they keep doing it until serious injury or death occurs. O.J. Simpson did not hit his children that we know of, but he did beat up his wife on more than one occasion and we all remember what eventually happened to her…
Child abuse is one of the few times a real friend has to step in and put a STOP to it once and for all by getting help for the defenseless victim.
Drug use is a grayer area. There are several factors involved here as it relates to a friend’s involvement with illegal substances. These include, the type of drug, the level of drug use, why there was drug use and the effect it has on any minor children in the home. I do not condone the use of drugs. I do not take drugs. But, I would not report a good friend who used them recreationally or in moderation if his or her children were not present during the drug use or directly hurt by the behavior. I would yield to the discretion of their spouse here. It is more of a family matter at that level of usage.
If that dangerously accelerates and a spouse, relative or someone close to the user came to me and asked for my participation in an intervention as a good friend of the person who was either struggling or addicted to drugs, I would seriously consider it. It is difficult to make a commitment here beyond that because there are too many variables to consider.
Up to this time in my life, I have never had to step in and deal with any of my friends in either area. But, as their friend, I know I would do so out of love for them and their family if the situtation called for it.
I just pray that situation will never become a reality.