Alan Butler - Dual Diagnosis Anonymous (UK)

Alan Butler

More than 25 years ago I came to London from Manchester bringing a 10-year heroin addiction problem with me. I experienced my first London based detoxification from heroin in the Max Glatt detox unit.  I did not stay clean that attempt – nor did I on several subsequent attempts, introducing cocaine to the mix.  I would bounce in and out of prisons, hospitals, rehabs and detox units. 

I switched addictions. I put down the drugs and picked up the bottle. When I left the hospital I did not pick up the drugs again – nor didI put down the bottle. I moved seamlessly from addiction to alcoholism. Now the consequences really did get worse.

In 2009 things changed. I spent my first year on an inner soul searching journey of self-discovery, contemplation, and debate. Here I journeyed from self-loathing to self-love

I volunteered for the Broadway 2010 where I took an NCFE in drug and alcohol

studies and their applications. Whilst with the Broadway I also took an NVQ level 2 in customer service and began co-facilitating Drink Watch an alcohol awareness group, with Dan.

In 2010 I volunteered for Look Ahead homeless Charity, where I achieved an NVQ level 3 in Information Advice and Guidance.

Between 2010 and 2011, I also volunteered for EACH, abstinence-based 12

week structured day program, where I facilitated peer-led support groups. I was awarded the merit of European Social Fund Adult learner of the year, 2011

Also in 2011, I gained full-time employment with CNWL NHS Trust working

as a peer support worker in the Max Glatt detox unit.  I worked on the unit for three years supporting people through the detox process and facilitating groups.

In 2014 I was awarded the NHS ‘Annual Gem Award’ in the category of –

‘The person who has made the most significant difference to the service users experience in that year.’

2014 – 2016 I worked as a peer support worker at CDAS, an NHS community

drug and alcohol service.  Since April 2016 I have been working as a peer support worker on an inpatient mental health treatment ward, at St Charles Hospital. 

Love, Peace, and Blessings

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