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March 4, 2021

Byron Day Hab – six weeks that will change your life

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Mandy Nolan

For many people with serious addictions or destructive lifestyles who are looking for treatment the prospect of a residential treatment option that takes you away from your family and community makes the possibility of starting a supported recovery almost impossible.

For a mum with small children, going away for six months sometimes just isn’t an option. That’s why the Buttery has created CORE – or Community Based Rehab.

Run out of INTRA, the Buttery’s community outreach arm, CORE offers a six-week non-residential program for people seeking to regain control of their lives – quite simply, it’s a ‘day-hab’.

Creating accessibility

Counsellors Rebecca Pevitt and Brendon Monsoon facilitate the program that was developed to address the needs of the broader community or the ‘gap’ that was identified by Christian Grift, the service manager at INTRA.

‘CORE caters for people who come up against barriers to getting into residential rehab,’ says Rebecca.

‘Single mums, and mums in general, find this program more accessible, especially as we operate within school hours, 9am till 3pm.

‘It’s also a good program for people on pscyhoactive drugs who may have a mental health and AOD (alcohol and other drug) dual diagnosis. That way people can stay on their medications and continue social connections and the care they are getting in the community.’

The program takes up to 15 people at a time and there is a commitment from participants to be abstinent.

‘If people do “breach” they get an official warning and are asked to recommit,’ says Brendon.

‘We really look at that case by case. The way we run differs from a normal residential treatment, and our commitment is to the safety of the group.’

Free program

This structured program is for people over 18 and is free of charge. The program can also arrange transport for people living within a 30-minute radius of where it is running.

Conditions of participation in the program include participants making a commitment to the six weeks, be willing to abstain from alcohol and illicit drug use for the duration of the program, have stable accommodation, be able to attend during school hours, have stable mental health and basic English literacy skills.

Coming to you

The idea of the program is to ‘travel’ it to areas in the Northern Rivers to ensure people can access it without too many transportation issues. The upcoming program is based in Byron Bay, and therefore the call out is for people seeking to get treatment in that region. The next programs will run in Tweed and Lismore.

‘We work with a framework of trauma-informed care using the principles of safety, trust, choice, and empowerment,’ says Rebecca.

‘It’s a safe place for people to come to – and from there we work toward coping strategies and developing the skills to build healthy relationships. We work on nutrition, boundaries, self-care, all the stuff that underpins a healthy wellbeing.’

Post treatment

The program also involves looking at what happens for people at the end of the program and supporting people through case management post treatment towards wellness.

The Byron CORE program starts on May 6. There are still some places available for people with DOA issues, eating disorders, PTSD, gambling disorders, anxiety, and depression.

The program is free, lunch is provided, and it is funded by the North Coast Primary Health Network.

Enquiries to The Buttery: 02 6687 1111 or call direct on 0477 016 030.


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