The Buttery helps local families

Hero image for The Buttery helps local families

The Buttery’s INTRA community outreach program, supports family members of people undertaking their long-term residential rehabilitation program. A free counselling service is provided for families, which is supported by the Northern Rivers Community Foundation.

Parents and family members whose loved ones are affected by drug and alcohol addiction can feel ashamed, judged and isolated. They are regularly in crisis as they watch their addicted son, daughter, parent or partner spiral out of control. 

Fear of what may happen to the “user”, fear of their impact on other family members, especially children, and a sense of powerlessness while wanting to help the person they love are common. The effect of this and constant crises can cause extreme ill health for the family.

“The shame, guilt and judgment family members fear and often receive, causes them to be guarded about who they can trust to hear and support them. This program is totally non-judgmental and reassures people they are not alone while giving them techniques to safeguard their own health and the well-being of the family unit,” said Executive Director of The Buttery, Barry Evans.  

Barry said typical comments Buttery counsellors have received from people who have benefited from the program include:  

 “I just want some reassurance that I’m doing OK and that I’m not a bad parent.”

“It’s good to be able to share when he’s doing well.”

“I don’t know much about drugs and treatments.”

“I have learnt to live with hope, reality and death all at the same time.”

A qualified counsellor is available for family members of teenagers and adults in contact with The Buttery’s INTRA community outreach program and for those in The Buttery’s long-term residential rehabilitation program. Family members can have face-to-face or telephone counselling.  The program is offered free of charge and receives no government funding. It is supported fully by donations from foundations such as the NRCF as well as individuals in the community.

Recently The Northern Rivers Community Foundation donated funds to support the salary of The Buttery’s Family Counsellor. 

Photo: The Buttery’s Barry Evans: “The program helps families who are often in crisis”.