Lesya and I have a very good friend, Y., a man who is older than us (he is 64), but who has been really a friend with both of us since our early postdoctoral years, when we were in our early 30-s and he in his 40-s. Currently he lives in California and works as a biologist-experimenter at one of the U. of Cali. research labs.
The problem is that Y is an alcoholic, and he drinks, it looks like, more and more. We understood it when we started to talk with him via Skype. He looks awful, and, whenever we get in touch with him in the afternoon, his speech is slurred and he does something under the desk, so that we can hear sounds of liquid being poured in a glass. We understand that he comes to work early in the morning, does something in the lab, and then, at about noon, goes home and gets very, very drunk. He does not have any family (was married but divorced long time ago, and his ex-wife, daughter, and grandson live in Ukraine), so very few people know about his situation.
Lesya and I are afraid that Y. will really drink himself to death. He is going to retire next year, but if he keeps drinking so hard, we are afraid that he might not even live that long, or he will live to his retirement and then die very soon after he's retired...
Please say a prayer for Y., he is such a wonderful man, a great friend, a kind soul.