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Winchester hosts unique graduation ceremony for recovering addicts
11:17am Monday 12th August 2013 in News
A UNIQUE graduation ceremony was held today (August 6) in Winchester when recovering addicts received awards for their treatment.
Intuitive Recovery, an innovative recovery programme aimed at both alcohol and drug users, awarded its learners certificates following their successful completion of the course at Ashburton Hall.
Approximately 30 service users attended the ceremony, from various parts of the country.
The programme, commissioned by Public Health England, has eight services around Hampshire including Andover, Fareham, Eastleigh and Totton as well as Winchester, Havant and the New Forest.
Founder and managing director Peter Bentley, 48, of Manchester, wrote the course 10 years ago after receiving 'lots of support but no cure' from 'an awful coercive system' for his own cocaine addiction.
“You're given a big bucket of methadone”, he said. “It was called 'Chronic relapsing condition' and it was disgusting.”
By redefining the terms usually used in treatment programmes, such as 'coping' with usage rather than beating it, Mr Bentley and his teachers, all of which are themselves ex-users, hope to change the long term attitudes and behaviours associated with substance abuse with the belief that teachers with historical addictions will empathetic and understanding.
Mr Bentley said: “You've got to be in for the long haul. It's easy to prescribe; it's much harder to change behaviour.
“By telling people they're giving up it's wrong. Telling people they are gaining, which is more accurate, they'll do it.”
Nick Thompson, 40, of Woodford in London, has taught the course for two years after training as a councillor shortly after he stopped using, following 25 years of substance abuse.
“It was a different approach to others I'd known before”, he said. “It was empowering, it liberated me.
“It's a rational, straightforward, no-nonsense approach. An approach to recovery that makes sense to me.”
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