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HEATON — Celebrate Recovery is a program, originally of Saddleback Church, that offers a Christian-centric recovery program for people suffering from addiction.

In Avery County, Heaton Christian Church offers a Celebrate Recovery program so locals can have access to another option to cope with addiction. The program is approaching a year old, and it has been a slow process, something HCC member Butch Clark attributes to the stigma attached to addiction.

“We do have five people who come semi-regularly,” Clark said. “We’re still there and we plan to stay there until the Lord tells us to stop.”

The program offers childcare for people who require it to be able to attend as well.

“There’s a stigma attached to it,” Clark said. “We want to stay hidden, we don’t want people to know that we have that affliction.”

Another member who heads up the women’s side of the program, Courtney Arnett, said there is so much hopelessness attached to addiction that people can give up on feeling better, but some people can find relief in the church.

“What if it does work?” Arnett said.

Clark said the program is different, and while a number of secular programs lean heavily on the content of the program itself, Celebrate Recovery is based on scripture.

The program is anonymous, but in a small community it can be difficult to keep certain parts of one’s life private. Arnett said Celebrate Recovery has people there to offer support, and the church is a neutral location that will not arouse suspicion.

Clark made a point of saying when asked about who was attending the meetings, even in earnest by someone who was interested, he has refused to give out names.

“We’re not about numbers, per se,” Clark said. “We know the need is huge in this area. There’s no way this whole church, if we filled every inch of it, would hold the people that need it.”

Clark added if one person comes to salvation and experiences recovery through the program, that would be the ultimate goal.

Brochures for the program can be found throughout the county and this year the program had a booth at the Woolly Worm Festival. The group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Heaton Christian Church.

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