After Treatment

sized child crying

It may seem strange but one of the first questions that many families ask Heartland Intervention is what happens AFTER treatment for substance abuse.  More often than not, this questions comes up during the intervention planning process or when we are helping with treatment facilitation.  While it can be unwise to gaze into the crystal ball of discharge planning, there are several factors to consider when primary treatment ends.

Supportive Living

One of the most important issues to address following treatment is where a person will live.  Opinions and answers to this questions can be emotionally charged and contain a mix of hidden and differing agendas.  Families can be upset by suggestions a loved-one might not immediately return home to a spouse, kids or parents.  This recommendations does not indict a family but seeks to offer increased support to someone in early recovery.  Frequently, clients are urged to return home promptly and engage fully with family.  Others are encouraged to evaluate supported living facilities that offer structure, accountability and a recovery community that is likely to reinforce the lessons learned in treatment.

Continuing Care

Recovery from drugs and alcohol is on ongoing process.  Study after study has shown that the duration and intensity of treatment significantly impact the likelihood of a person remaining drug/alcohol free.  Given that it is often a good idea for a person to step-down to an outpatient program when discharged from residential treatment.  For those who have completed an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) a relapse prevention group is often indicated.  Most all clients are expected to engage heavily with a 12-step or similar support group.  Other clients engage with a therapist to both support recovery and address any underlying issues, such as trauma, that may hinder sustainable recovery.

Structure and Accountability

Just as addiction has a number of reliable hallmarks, so does recovery.   Most of our clients have found that structure and accountability are useful recovery tools.  Often that means that a person’s schedule is less fluid than before.  This includes work, 12-step meetings, phone contact with a sponsor or recovery mentor, and regular time doing service or other activities to support one’s spiritual condition.  The idea of structure can produce some resistance for addicts and alcoholics but most will report over time that it is important.

The Family

Often it is said that addiction is a family disease.  If so, then the family needs to take recovery steps as well.  This can involve 12-step meetings or therapy aimed at reducing codependency and strengthening boundaries.

At Heartland Intervention we are always willing to be involved and make suggestions when our clients transition through treatment.  We also trust the treatment centers that we use to guide and advise our mutual clients.  If you are worried about a loved-one’s use of drugs or alcohol call us today at 877-752-8811.  We are a leading provider of intervention services and substance abuse assessment in Central Indiana and beyond.

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.

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.



Perhaps nothing is more upsetting to family, friends and professionals alike than when a person who is in recovery experiences a relapse.  Experience shows that relapse is a process that takes place over time rather than the event of just drinking or using again.  Relapse erodes relationships and trust and often results in consequences far greater than then the person was initially using.  This is because addiction is progressive in nature.

Frequently families will ask how often to expect relapse or what the relapse rate is when people return home from treatment.  Of all the questions that I am asked, this is the one that troubles me the most.  I remember Bob D. emphatically stating that, “100% of the people who don’t pick up a drink…don’t get drunk.”  That was his way of saying that relapse is not a necessary part of recovery.

For sure, relapse is a significant part of many people’s story.  At Heartland Intervention we encourage those in early recovery to make changes slowly and with lots of accountability and supervision.  Recently there was a person who had several months sober.  All was going well until she began working a full-time job.  In a matter of a two weeks, she had gone from a meeting a day to 1-2 meetings per week.  The third week found her running with her old crowd and likely using.  Also a young man recently allowed the fear of step-work keep him from his sponsor and meetings.  In a few days his family was searching for him on the streets and praying that he was ok.

Recovery literature is full of reminders and warnings about the effort that it takes to stay clean and sober.  Many heed these warnings and the result is long-term recovery and all of the promises that come with it.  They are proof that relapse into alcohol and drug addiction does not have to be part of the story.

Call Heartland Intervention today at 877/752-8811 to discuss relapse prevention skills.  We are eager to assist you or your loved ones avoid relapse with counseling and suggestions for structure and accountability.

Holiday Recovery Skills

Ho..Ho..Ho!  It’s that time of year again.  Stress levels begin to rise, calenders fill quickly with holiday parties and recovery skills are at a PREMIUM!  Fortunately, you’ve been working all year for this moment and the holidays are going to be a time to enjoy and celebrate rather than stress out!  Here are a couple of our favorite recovery skills to use during the holiday season. You can send a technomono gift to your loved one to help them recover.
1.   Go late and leave early.
2.   Always have your own transportation.
3.   Increase your meetings and never pass when it’s your turn to speak.
4.   Make sure you are calling another person in the program every day.
5.   Be sure you have a legitimate reason to be at the party.
6.   Be on the lookout…avoid HALT. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
7.   It’s OK to say “NO” to functions….even work or family functions.
8.   Take a sober friend.
9.   Pray…before, during and after.
10. Ask for help.  If you’re losing the battle, call us at 877/752-8811.  We can help.

The holidays are to celebrated with gratitude.  But putting yourself at risk is never wise.  Remember anything that is put ahead of your recovery is something that you need to be prepared to lose.