“People get their souls back”

“People get their souls back at The Buttery. You can see it in their eyes,” said Buttery graduate, David Dalton.

David, who, since undertaking the residential program, has completed a diploma, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work and is now a case worker for The Buttery’s MTA Program. In addition he holds other positions locally in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation field.

“It happened to me. I got my soul back. I was 35 and had been using mood altering substances since I was 13. I was a few months into the Buttery’s program. One day I looked in the mirror and I was a bit startled. I had made a connection with my true self.  It was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. That day I started seeing the true nature of the world around me for the first time.”

David said his descent into a life of drug and alcohol addiction started when his mother died when he was 13.

“In those days living in Kingaroy in rural Queensland there was no social support. My mother’s death when I was so young was a real tragedy and I was left to cope as best I could.”

He stated drinking and smoking cannabis. He moved to Brisbane in his late teens and started using hard drugs. He first used heroin at 23 and became addicted.

“At 35, I was facing court action over my drug use and went to The Buttery because I had to. After a while I realized the program was working for me and it was my best hope for getting my life back.”

David said he is an active participant in the Twelve Step Fellowship for people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. He credits the Fellowship and his time at The Buttery for helping him stay “clean” of drugs and alcohol for more than ten years. Part of the program involves “giving back to society”. To this end, David volunteers at the Byron Bay Community Centre and the Byron Youth Service. He said he “loves working at The Buttery” because it is also about giving back.

“I want to use my experiences to be a mentor and role model for others who are working to overcome addiction.”