Dr. Harry Haroutunian : RecoveryView.com
Dr. Haroutunian, best known as “Dr. Harry,” has been practicing medicine for over 30 years. His inspirations for contributing to the recovery world come directly from science as well as his personal recovery. He has maintained a longstanding private practice and has consulted with several residential treatment centers in the areas of medication assisted detox and treatment planning. Dr. Harry also works with professional athletes and professional sports teams. Dr. Harry is the author of Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through and Living in Recovery” and has collaborated with Dr. Louis Teresi, author ofHijacking the Brain: How Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hijacks our Brains – The Science Behind Twelve-Step Recovery.
For years, Dr. Harry has worked with well-known members of the community and celebrities on addiction recovery, and has gotten to know the special challenges of patients in that niche area. “One of the specific challenges pertaining to the status of the patient is that they need to be treated under conditions of intense privacy,” Dr. Harry told RecoveryView.com. “The issue of shame also prevents these people from seeking treatment and interrupts their progress.”
RecoveryView.com learned from Dr. Harry the slough of obstacles faced by those who are well- known in large communities. Oftentimes, they are held to higher standards, the pressure of which becomes a breeding ground for high stress situations and relapse. Further when patients are professionals, they may be dealing with the close scrutiny of a particular licensure agency, which puts them under constant threat of being stripped of their license. Professionals seem to have greater financial consequences attached to feeding and even treating their addiction. When they have a high value contracted for their services, there is greater financial risk to them personally and to their families. But even for these high risk groups, Dr. Harry sees hope.
Through the years, Dr. Harry’s perspectives have changed as a result of developments in science, and when talking to RecoveryView.com, he expressed the wish that families would come to know the hope that science brings for those facing addiction. Dr. Harry lectures to families every week and has found that many continue to believe that addiction is an issue of moral judgment or faulty character. “They have had someone in their lives with the disease. They’ve been lied to, cheated. They have seen aggressive behaviors and boundaries have been crossed. It’s too personal for people. But I want to tell them all that this is not a bad person doing bad things. It’s genetics epidemiology – a set of symptoms.” For anyone continuing to doubt whether alcoholism is a disease, Dr. Harry says, “It is an absolutely chronic organic disease of the brain that is incurable and fatal if left untreated.”
As Dr. Harry continues to forward new paradigms among professionals in the industry and continues speaking to those individuals and families in treatment, he carries with him this message: “Science shows that this is treatable if a lifelong treatment plan is initiated and continued. There is hope.”