Not Hitting Bottom

Heartland Intervention

What was the worst day of your life? Are you able to remember why it was so bad and the gut-wrenching feelings that  gripped you? What made that day so bad and could anything have been done earlier to have made it better?

When people call Heartland Intervention, they are often surprised to hear me say that we don’t have to “let” someone hit bottom. Often, the goal of an intervention is to RAISE a person’s bottom to their current level of despair.   We do this so the addicted  person does not have to loose their job, marriage or house before they get into treatment.

Recently we conducted an intervention for a family that had grown weary of “watching a loved one slip away”.  Our goal was to encourage him to seek an assessment for both mental health (including trauma and grief) and addiction.  It was not easy and emotions ran high.  But our loving intervention was successful and their loved one got the help that he needed.

A parent whose child has a fever would not just wait to see how bad the fever would get before taking action.  Nor would the parent be afraid that taking action would only make the situation worse.  A parent whose child’s grade’s were sinking would intervene early in an effort to prevent things from getting any worse.  So too should it be with addiction.  There is no value in seeing how low a person can go.  Some people’s bottom may be lower than it takes to kill them.  We seek to intervene before a person loses their job, spouse, freedom, health or life.

Heartland Intervention is recognised as a leader in the field of intervention services,  assessment and recovery.  Our affordable and  loving approach to intervention coupled with our very high success rate make us the choice of many concerned about their loved one.  While we are based in Indiana, Scott Watson travels throughout the country conducting interventions and facilitating entry into treatment.

Left untreated, addiction always gets worse.  Many people have told us that intervention day was actually one of the BEST days of their life.  Call us today at 317-752-8811.  We look forward to listening and helping.

DUI Alcohol or Drug Assessment

Heartland Intervention, LLC

Need for Assessment When Facing DUI

In a typical year, about 15,000 Indiana residents will be charged with DUI or equivalent charge.  Being arrested for drunk driving can be dangerous, embarrassing, expensive and complicate one’s situation at home or work.  When faced with legal charges related to drugs or alcohol, most attorneys suggest that their clients obtain an independent professional drug and alcohol evaluation.

Clinical Qualifications

Use great caution when deciding whom you will chose to do your substance abuse assessment.  When facing legal charges, employment, custody of children, your freedom and ability to drive are often at risk.  Heartland Intervention strongly suggests that your assessment only be conducted by a clinician who is licensed by the state and has at least a Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling.  In Indiana, many licensees have been grandfathered in and lack the needed advanced academic preparation.  Heartland Intervention is a leading provider of substance abuse evaluations in Indiana.  Your assessment should ALWAYS be face to face.  The courts and prosecutor can’t be expected to trust an assessment from someone who has never actually met you.

Assessment Components

While each professional approaches assessments differently, all assessments should include several parts that termed a “biopsychosocial” evaluation that covers a wide variety of clinical areas.  This allows for a complete picture of the person and also helps to assure that the client receives appropriate recommendations going forward.  Most assessments  include a standardized assessment tool such as MAST or CAGE as well as an opportunity to gather collateral information.  Finally you should expect clinical recommendations for education and/or treatment where appropriate.

Benefits of an Assessment

Our clients and their attorneys frequently tell us that an independent evaluation can be an important part of the legal defense.  Clinical professionals  can offer an unbiased impression of a person’s drug or alcohol use.  A DUI assessment also can be used to demonstrate to the court that a person is seriously focused on making necessary changes.

Heartland Intervention founder Scott J. Watson is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor and DOT Substance Abuse Professional.  He has years of experience and pecial training in assessment of drug and alcohol disorders.  If you are facing DUI or other charges call him today at 317-752-8811 and schedule your DUI assessment or evaluation.

Addiction and Family

steps girl family resized

For families that battle substance abuse, the information below may be helpful but won’t come as a surprise.   Alcoholism and addiction impacts the family unit in a variety of ways.   The good news is that every member of the family can benefit from recovery.  And this can happen regardless of whether or not the addict gets clean or sober.

Terms like codependency, enabling, boundaries and more are often tossed around to describe addiction and the family.  These terms, when properly defined, can be useful.  But living daily in relationship with an addict can test even the strongest families.”

Addiction often means a lack of trust, financial and legal issues, child welfare concerns and “living on eggshells” in fear of making matters worse.  Often family members who have gotten along well for years, begin to disagree or argue about any number of issues.  Many families quickly grow tired of the routine and fracture or lose hope.

At Heartland Intervention, LLC we know the frustration that addiction brings to families.  We are experts in addiction and recovery and a leader of intervention services in Indiana.  We work with families to restore trust and build coping and resiliency skills.  While we are best know for intervention, assessment and treatment facilitation, we commonly work with families who have a member who is not yet willing to seek help for their addiction or mental health issue.  Call Heartland Intervention today at 877-752-8811.

Great Things in 2015

sized blue glass family

The New Year is right around the corner and studies show that while New Year’s resolutions were once very popular, they are less so these days.  Perhaps I’m old-fashioned but I’m a person who will likely jot down a few goals and objectives to work toward in the year ahead.

2015 promises to be a great year for Heartland Intervention, LLC in several ways.  Our mission is clear and our passion remains white-hot as we seek “To save lives and families by lovingly offering recovery instead of addiction” to the families that we serve.  As a leading provider of intervention services in Indiana and beyond, we are excited about these highlights in the year ahead.

*  Again this year, Scott J. Watson will be the featured DOT/SAP at the Annual FTA Drug and Alcohol Program National Conference.

*  Heartland Intervention founder Scott J. Watson will be pursuing additional clinical licensure in order to serve a wider variety of clients and an even more professional level.

*  Scott’s new book is finished and will hit the market in the first quarter of the new year.

*  Heartland will renew our community commitment by partnering with several city agencies and community resources to aid those who struggle with poverty, addiction and broken homes.

It is always a blessing to think of the great things the future holds.  If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, call us at 877-752-8811 to discuss how we can help.  Happy New Year and all the best in 2015!

Addiction and Gift Giving

troubled girl edit 2

“Tis the season” as families gather to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the beginning of a New Year.  For some these are genuine celebrations but for others there is a fracture created substance use and addiction.  While some families address these concerns head-on, others chose not to.  And most often, this is a very challenging time of the year to place some on in treatment because it means being away for the holidays even though being available may mean missing them because of the alcohol or drug problem.

Recently, Heartland’s founder Scott J. Watson was working with a man who admitted he needed treatment but didn’t want to miss Christmas.  Many options were discussed but the room was brought to tears when the man looked up and said, “I have already missed so much because of my drinking.  While I hate missing Christmas, if I don’t go today I may die and never be here for another holiday.  This means that when I get out I never have to miss another holiday again.”

Did I mention that the entire room was crying?  WOW…such a wonderful moment of clarity from a man who’s drinking and drug use had cost him, his parents and teenaged children so much.  Later that week we got a call from a family member who indicated that his being in treatment was, “…the best Christmas present we have ever been given.”

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, don’t wait.  We are the leading provider of intervention services and treatment facilitation in Indiana.  Addiction can ruin marriages, families, careers and more.  Call us today at 877-752-8811 to learn how we can help your family.

The holidays are special times for many and painful times for others.  Merry Christmas from Heartland Intervention, LLC and best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

Substance Use Assessments


Heartland Intervention is a leading provider of substance abuse assessments for those facing any number of legal issues in Indianapolis and Central Indiana.  Whether you are facing a DUI, public intoxication, custody hearing or a DOT violation, it is important to get a professional assessment from a licensed and experienced clinician at a price you can afford.

Why Heartland Intervention…

Heartland Intervention’s Scott J. Watson is both a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC) and a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).  That means his assessment will likely be accepted by probation departments and courts throughout the country.

When facing legal charges that involve drug or alcohol use, there is a lot riding on your professional assessment.  We specialize in and have specific training for substance use assessments.  For those facing a DOT violation, we are the leader in Return to Duty SAP assessments and are expertly familiar with the CFR Part 40 regulations.

Facing legal challenges is stressful enough.  Heartland Intervention will provide an honest and independent substance use evaluation complete with any recommendations for education and/or treatment.  The results will be discussed with you ensuring that all of your questions are answered.  Our goal is to meet your clinical needs in a way that is responsive, affordable and professional.  Contact Heartland Intervention today at 317-752-8811 to schedule your assessment.



Happy Thanksgiving

sized child crying

Recovery Tools for Thanksgiving

While holidays can be tough for a variety of reasons, I’ve always believed that Thanksgiving is a holiday tailor-made to folks in recovery.  Being thankful is fundamentally about gratitude which is a cornerstone of a successful recovery program and good mental health advice for us all.  Recently there was a social media post lamenting the holidays.  While there are many who struggle to be grateful, there are a few things all of us can do to make them even brighter.  Here are two little skills or exercises that can benefit us all.

Make a Gratitude List

By making a gratitude list, we come face to face with the good stuff in our life.  To be grateful demands some measure of humility and has a way of “right-sizing” our ego.  Once the list is made, we are able to pray through the list, expressing not only our gratitude but our desire for each person, place or situation on the list to receive the blessing of God.  Others choose to call a friend and share part of the list with them.

Where’s the Focus?

Thanksgiving offers each of us an opportunity to focus on what’s going well.  It’s easy for many of us to fall into the trap of being negative.  When we are thankful, we are necessarily focusing on the positive.  As the old saying goes, “Focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger; focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger.”.

Heartland Intervention, the leader in intervention services in Indiana,  is grateful to” have a front row seat to watch people’s lives turn around” every week.  To be sure, there is heartache from time to time.  But we are proud of those in recovery who will celebrate this Thanksgiving clean or sober.   Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting Help

Heartland Intervention, LLC

Heartland Intervention, LLC

Whether a loved one is facing their first DUI or has a long standing substance abuse issue, it is common for family members to reach out to Heartland Intervention for help.  While each situation is different, it is important to conduct an independent (not affiliated with treatment center) evaluation.  This allows for an objective series of recommendations that are clinically appropriate and a good fit for the family.

Indiana families know that Heartland Intervention is committed to saving lives and families by lovingly offering recovery instead of addiction.  We do this by working with treatment providers near and far.  That’s because recovery is not a “one size fits all” endeavor.  Some folks need Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) while others need a medically supervised detox before they are able to begin their recovery adventure.  Regardless, we work with the individual to lay out a program that is clinically appropriate, affordable and offers the promise of a better life.

When there are legal issues, Heartland Intervention is experienced in working with families, attorneys, probation officers and more.  We recognize that long-term sustainable recovery offers the best hope to our clients facing many types of legal challenges.  That’s why attorney’s recommend us for assessment and occasionally as an expert witness in a trial or hearing.

If you love someone who is struggling, do not wait.  Call Heartland Intervention, LLC today at 877-752-8811 and ask how we can help.  Addiction robs people of their freedom, health, relationships and life.  Heartland Intervention is here to help.


Watson Helps Raise Suicide Awareness

Watson Merritt statehouse

Heartland Intervention founder Scott J. Watson today helped announce a state-wide program to combat suicide among young people.  Appearing with Sen. Jim Merritt, Watson announced a new public awareness campaign highlighting five approaches aimed at preventing teen suicide and saving lives.  . “It is time to take the stigma away and talk about the issue.”, Merritt said.

The following five approaches will be utilized in the new campaign:

  • Call 2-1-1: For anyone feeling down, hopeless or having suicidal thoughts, the United Way provides a number to call for help.  The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. All calls are free and confidential.


  • Mentoring programs: At-risk youth should be connected with the wide variety of youth mentoring programs available throughout the state of Indiana.


  • Teacher training: All K-12 teachers should betrained to recognize the signs of a depressed or suicidal student.


  • College Residence Staff Training: All resident hall administrators and student leaders, including those involved in fraternity and sorority life, should be required to take a short training course to recognize signs of depressed or suicidal students.


  • Access to Counseling: Every student should have access to a school counselor. To prevent any monetary excuses, the first session should be offered free of charge.

Indiana ranks second in the nation for suicide attempts among high school students. Several local high schools and universities have lost students to suicide in the past month.  “No matter how bad it hurts. No matter how dark it seems. No matter what you have done or has been done to you, you have to find something within you that allows you to look another human being in the eye and say three important words. I need help,” said Watson.

Sen. Merritt and Watson agree that it is time to do something proactive to prevent these senseless deaths. They plan to take the I Need Help awareness message to schools and universities across the state in the coming months.

Suicide and Addiction


Heartland Intervention, LLC

No topic strikes fear into the heart of people like that of suicide.  At some point most of us are likely to be impacted by the suicide of a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or client.  For families that struggle with addiction, the looming fear of suicide or other self-harm is a constant  companion.  Statistics show that those who abuse drugs and alcohol and ten times (10x) more likely to commit suicide than the general population.  That number skyrockets for IV-drug users.

Recently, our area has seen a huge increase in the number of teenage suicides.  That prompted a discussion on 93.1 WIBC to address what can be done to save young lives.  Heartland founder Scott J. Watson was honored to be a part of that panel convened by John Kesler along with Sen. Jim Merritt, Dr. Julie Steck and Stuart Hobson whose son recently killed himself.  The panel noted that depression, family history, previous attempts and co-occuring disorders were also suicide risk factors.

The responsability for stemming the tide of suicide, which is psychologist Julie Steck says is the leading cause of adolescent death, lies with all of us.  Heartland’s Scott J. Watson offered a suggestion to all parents and those who work with youth.  “No matter how dark it is, how bad it hurts or what’s been done to you, find a way to say three critical words….I NEED HELP.”  This is the message we need to send to all of our young people so that they know there is a better way out.

Often self-harm and substance use are symptoms of a much bigger problem.  It is important that families access therapeutic professionals to properly evaluate mental health and addiction concerns.  If someone is suicidal, take it seriously and call 911.  If you are worried about a loved one call a community mental health center, hospital or Heartland Intervention today.