Buttery program helps families

The Buttery at Bangalow has started a new program to help families deal with the trauma of having a family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The ‘family inclusivity program’ has been developed as part of a new therapeutic approach which includes involving the whole family in helping an addicted person recover from addiction when they have decided to seek help .

A free telephone counselling service operates every Friday for families who have a loved one undergoing treatment for addiction or a family member with an addiction who would benefit from undertaking a rehabilitation program.

“Addiction is like a hurricane that roars through the lives of everyone it touches,” said The Buttery’s executive director, Barry Evans.

“This means addiction can devastate not just the person addicted to drugs or alcohol, but all relationships around them and indeed the core structure of health within the family.

“Many families feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with both their loved one’s addiction and its impact on their own lives.

“The family’s suffering can be even greater than that of the addict. While the addict is to some degree anaesthetised to their impact on the family through their drug use, the family sees and experiences this destructive behaviour in the raw.

“They feel powerless and the effect of this and constant crises can cause extreme ill health for family members too. This program is there to help families cope.”

Developed in conjunction with Melbourne’s Bouvery Institute and the Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies, the program is being used as a pilot by other drug and alcohol centres.

Mr Evans said the cost of employing a counsellor had been met by donations, but for the program to continue, The Buttery was appealing for support. The counselling service operates on Fridays from 10am to 1pm. The number is 66871111.

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