26th November 2013

Healing From a Head Cold with Dr. Harry

Shot of a group of unidentifiable friends joining their hands in solidarity

This week I got plagued with a nasty head cold, but being sick gave me an opportunity to kick back and broaden my horizons in the treatment business while I got better.

Dr. Harry Haroutunian, a good friend of mine and a respected colleague in the industry, just released a book called Being Sober. So, while I was sick I dove into this book head first, and was able to catch up with Dr. Harry through his most recent work.


I know Dr. Harry through his partnership with Northbound, but it was great to read something of his outside of the workplace. The purpose of his book is to promote the treatment plan used at the Betty Ford Center for anyone who is struggling with addiction, but it is also to help increase hope in those individuals and encourage education about addiction. For me, it was a great refresher and reminded me about a ton of eye-opening information that I wanted to share with you:

  • “Addiction is a chronic, organic, and fatal disease of the brain, responsible for untold damage to families, individual lives, and the economy.” Drug and alcohol abuse is always on the rise, and Being Sober highlights some of the most startling facts – out of the 23.5 million people who struggle with addiction, only 9.3% of them sought treatment in 2009. However, only 11.2% of that 9.3% received treatment at a specialty facility (SAMSHA). What Dr. Harry points out is that through these statistics, we can see that there are millions of people who are living with addition everyday, but not getting the help they need.
  • “Addiction is a brain disease….it is progressive, and if left untreated, fatal.” Anyone who works in the industry knows that it can be hard for some people to accept that addiction really is a brain disease instead of a choice. It is just like any other disease that requires treatment, because, as Dr. Harry states, if it goes untreated, it can cause death.
  • “Recovery is living a full and meaningful life without drugs or alcohol.” For me, my sobriety has always been the most important thing to me, and within this book, Dr. Harry talks about the joys of being in recovery, such as loving life, but he also touches upon how getting to that point is never easy.
  • “The Twelve Step Program is the solution.” The Twelve Steps have played such an important role in my sobriety, but Dr. Harry highlights how it can be hard for some people to pick up on the process. For him, it’s about simplifying the Twelve Steps so that even more people can embrace them and use them as tools in their recovery.

The most important part about Dr. Harry’s Being Sober is that it is geared towards helping those who need help to get help. Believe me, recovery is a process, and staying in recovery can be challenging. One thing that Dr. Harry talked about was relapse, and he discussed how it is common but not inevitable. This really hit home with me, primarily because I have seen people die from relapse. I hear so many people say that relapse is part of the process, but I personally never believed that. Yes, it happens, but it can be avoided. I honestly don’t believe that it is part of addiction, and am happy that Dr. Harry pointed this (as well as many other aspects of addiction and recovery) out in his book.

To get a copy of Dr. Harry’s Being Sober, go to amazon.com and order yours today.

Source: Northbound