Lessons from the Tragic Tale of Paul Murdaugh
Article by Carolyn Bradfield for InterAct LifeLine
I took a break today at lunch and turned on the Netflix 3-part series, The Murdaugh Murders, a Southern Scandal. You'd have to be living under a rock not to be inundated with the sensational trial of Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina attorney, now on trial for the murder of his wife Maggie and son Paul.
But if all you takeaway from this sensationalized story is a "who dun it" crime, then you are missing a tragic tale of what happens when you have a family history of underage drinking, substance misuse and addiction that decimated this family and tragically affected the people around them.
I encourage you to watch the series, but pay particular attention to how it all started with Paul Murdaugh in Episode 1 and what can be learned from their family tragedy that applies to millions of other families.
The Net Out
We are not here to debate whether Alex killed Paul and his mother Maggie. Our job is to look at what lead up to Paul's alcohol abuse and the tragic death of his friend Mallory Beach. Paul drank heavily as a kid, did so at home and with the blessing of his parents, had his drinking funded by his parents' credit card, and was observed many times by his family and friends being grossly intoxicated.
For any parent that thinks its cool to party with their teenagers or their friends, let this be a lesson. You never know which kid will become addicted, what they will do when they are blitzed out of their mind, and the unintended consequences and tragedies that may result. Paul Murdaugh, if given the help he needed for his compulsive drinking, might still be alive today and his friend Mallory might be attending college instead of being a statistic.