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Addicts restored by healing ‘Power’

24 January 2020


JUSTYN REES LARCOMBE, the CEO of the Recovery Course, a 12-step programme for people affected by various addictions, has personal experience of the impact of gambling addiction. One online sporting bet led to a situation just three years later in which he had lost everything: his job, home, family, children, £750,000, and all self-respect.

The Recovery Course, unlike other 12-step gambling programmes, is not limited to those addicted to gambling, but is open to anyone experiencing problems related to drugs, alcohol, self-harm, and other compulsive behaviour.

“A central tenet of the course is that destructive habits are a consequence of pain, hurt, a broken relationship, loneliness, or an issue from childhood,” Mr Larcombe says. “Participants need to be open to the spiritual side of recovery, and be willing to listen to teaching and wisdom from the Bible.” Courses are led by people in recovery from addictions.

Step two of other 12-step programmes states that “We . . . believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.” The Recovery Course differed in that it talked about reliance on the healing power of Christ, which was offered without pressure, Mr Larcombe said.

The root causes of addiction are addressed on the course, beginning with topics such as denial, and honesty, and move on to gaining control by deciding to turn over one’s life to God. Other steps include making a moral inventory, asking God to remove shortcomings, learning to live a new life, and helping others.

Although these steps are broadly similar to other 12-step programmes, one difference is that prayer support is provided by local Christians.

The course is currently running in 50 locations in the UK. Courses are free, and typically run for 16 evenings. They start with a meal, followed by a short talk and small group discussions. Confidential optional coursework is included with each session.

“The course really works — and not just for Christians,” Mr Larcombe says, “because it’s really only through the restorative power of Christ that we can find real, long-lasting freedom from our destructive habits.”


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