Eighteen years ago, when Dayton Turberville first arrived at Prescott House for addiction treatment, he wasn’t quite sure if it was where he was meant to be. He quickly learned, during his transformational experience of getting clean, that it was, indeed, precisely where he was supposed to be.
A year after he got sober he was working at a burger joint when a friend called to tell him about a job at a guidance clinic where he would be helping other people kick their addictions. He got the job and as soon as he started working in the addiction recovery field, he knew it was precisely where he was supposed to be.
“For the first time in my life, I felt like I was doing what I was put on this earth to do,” Dayton recalls.
While he was working at the guidance clinic, he met the woman who would become his wife. And that simply reinforced for him that he was precisely where he was supposed to be.
After the pair got married, Dayton decided he wanted to go back to school to work on a master’s degree, but graduate programs are expensive and the couple and their young sons were living paycheck to paycheck. His wife encouraged him, despite their meager incomes. “But we don’t have the money to pay for tuition,” he said. “Do it anyway. We’ll figure it out,” she replied. So, he enrolled but was still wringing his hands over how he was going to pay the tuition bill. And then, on the day the money was due, he got a letter from the estate of his godparents who had recently passed away, informing him that he would be receiving a sizable check. Incredibly, that check just happened to be enough to cover almost his whole tuition bill! And yet again, Dayton knew he was precisely where he was supposed to be.
He earned that master’s degree and several years later, when he was ready for a career bump, he got a call from Prescott House, his recovery alma mater, asking him to come on board as a primary therapist. He jumped at the opportunity but there was one catch: the Prescott House director wanted to help the outgoing therapist find another job before he brought Dayton in to replace him. Dayton suggested the therapist take the spot he was vacating at the guidance clinic, and it worked out. So, the two basically switched places, and the serendipity of the situation once again affirmed for Dayton that he was precisely where he was supposed to be.
Dayton has been working at Prescott House since 2002 and has served as executive director since 2010. And every day, he says, he is reminded that he is precisely where he is supposed to be.
“I talk with clients every day. I love my work because I get to see guys get better and be successful in their lives,” Dayton says. “They get some time in recovery, then get their education, have careers, have families. That’s why we come to work every day.”
Of course, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There are bad days. When he and his team are trying to help a client who decides he doesn’t want help, it’s a bad feeling to have to watch the guy slip into relapse, he says. And when he constantly has to defend the addiction recovery industry amid public resistance across town, that’s sometimes a big challenge.
But Dayton never gives up because it’s all worth it. The challenges are worth it when he gets to witness the 180-degree transformation of a client. He describes one such experience:
“One fella who had come to Prescott House had a rough start to his recovery and was here for a long time. He ended up having to go to prison for a few years. After he got out of prison, he completed his bachelor’s degree and then got his MBA. And one day he came back and told me ‘I wouldn’t have pursued my education if you hadn’t pushed me.’ He has turned his life around completely. I talk to him weekly and he is still doing great.”
Those kinds of success stories are what make even the hard days manageable, Dayton says. He loves to watch both clients and Prescott House employees bettering their lives through education because he knows first-hand how it can change a person’s life. He attended the University of Alabama and ultimately earned a bachelor of business administration, cum laude, from National University San Diego. He then went on to earn a master of education with an emphasis in counseling and human relations from Northern Arizona University. He holds certifications as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor, a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and a Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist. And those degrees and certifications helped land him precisely where he is supposed to be: Prescott House.
As a graduate of Prescott House’s program, now 18 years sober, Dayton and his staff (most of whom are also PHouse grads) fully understand the challenges and triumphs of the recovery process.
If you are struggling with addiction and want to get to a better place, call Prescott House. There’s a strong possibility our world-renowned, nationally certified addiction recovery center in the beautiful, peaceful mountains of northern Arizona is precisely where you are supposed to be.
Dayton Turberville, MEd, LISAC, CSAT, CMAT, is the Executive Director of Prescott House. He serves on the board of directors for the Northern Arizona Recovery Association and is a community spokesperson for the recovery industry. When he is not working, Dayton plays golf, cheers for University of Alabama football and spends time with his wife, their 5-year-old son and his two twenty-something stepsons: one who works in Prescott and the other who is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Dayton is a survivor of vocal cord cancer, a personal experience that provided him with yet another life lesson: “I spent a lot of time yelling at our older two boys when they were younger but God gave me another chance with our youngest son. Cancer took some of my vocal cords so now I can’t yell at him. I am more patient now than I was when I was still battling my addiction.” Just another way Dayton knows that he is precisely where he is supposed to be.