Former drug addict John Ogilvie attributes his recovery to yoga and the rehabilitation program he completed at The Buttery.
Former drug addict John Ogilvie attributes his recovery to yoga and the rehabilitation program he completed at The Buttery. The Northern Star

Buttery helps to beat drug demons

JOHN Ogilvie thought he had tried everything to kick his heroin habit, including an overdose.

He woke up three days later in St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and was later admitted to a detoxification centre.

It was there he was introduced to yoga.

After several other unsuccessful programs to help him quit his drug addiction, John moved up north and into The Buttery at Binna Burra.

He spent five months there and said his life could be clearly divided into two parts: before and after The Buttery.

"I owe them everything I've got now. It changed my life," he said.

While at The Buttery, John continued practising his yoga and went on to establish a successful business and one of Byron's oldest yoga schools, the Byron Yoga Centre.

"The reason I was using drugs was all about low self-opinion and a feeling of worthlessness. When I stopped using drugs there was something missing from my life," he said.

"I developed spiritual principles and, combined with yoga practise, it filled that void."

It is an amazing story of recovery, but John is possibly one of the lucky ones.

Christian Gruft is the program manager of INTRA and MISA, two drug and alcohol outreach services based at The Buttery that travel across the Northern Rivers.

He and his team offer individual and group counselling for people wanting to kick their drug or alcohol problems, or deal with a mental illness.

Mr Gruft said two-thirds of their clients were men.

"Men tend to come in at a later stage. They hang in for longer before they ask for help. It's what we've been taught as men: just pull yourself up. Don't admit you've got a problem, just sort it out."

Mr Gruft said family breakdowns were often a catalyst for drug and alcohol abuse.

"There's a loss of identity when you've been providing for your family," he said.

"Once that's gone, if you've already been dabbling in alcohol or drugs, it can become addictive."


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