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Addiction program based on compassion

January 11, 2017
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A Leigh Acres woman has formed a new addiction recovery program.

She hopes those who need help with such problems as alcohol, nicotine, food, drugs, will come together and join "Celebrate Jesus," recognizing that an addiction is an addiction, no matter what it is, and so needs to be handled with love, compassion, and encouragement through the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Kathleen Butler-Lowrie says her program is known as Celebrate Jesus and is patterned by using some of the tactics used in other addiction groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Kathleen Butler-Lowrie holds pamphlet about addiction recovery.

"Like Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and various other recovery programs, we borrow the steps and traditions from the AA. However, we emphasize greatly the third tradition.

"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop your addiction and in our program, we underline the fact that it is OK to fall, if with our help and God's, you pick yourself up and try again. If you fall, you get a 'Do-Over.' And Jesus doesn't care how many do-overs he must give you," Butler-Lowrie says.

Her group began on Jan. 10 and continues every Tuesday at 6 p.m. For inquiries, contact Butler-Lowrie at 239-940-2855 or email her at The new recovery program to stop all addictions meets at First Community Congregational Church at 200 Leeland Heights Blvd. in Lehigh.

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Butler-Lowrie says to choose a Celebration Date which is the day you decide to quit. Make that date a memorable day like Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July, your birthday, your spouses' birthday, your child's birthday, your anniversary or some to her special day or even today.

She cautions that if you slip, you don't have to pick a new Celebration Date as you do in AA.

"There are 52 weeks in a year. You just must string together 52 sober weeks in a year and you must string together 52 sober weeks. But we keep hoping and we keep trying and we keep praying," she said.

For this new program, Butler-Lowrie said a Celebration Bead is given for every week you are abstinent. If you slip, you won't lose all your beads (as you lose all your chips in AA and must pick up a white beginner's chip) just the beads for the weeks that you have slipped.

She says she is more than happy to explain more about how the project operates.

After 26 weeks of sobriety from an addiction, you get lettered beads that spell out the word "celebrate." And after 52 weeks, you get the lettered beads that spell out "Jesus."

"You are now ready to make your Celebration Necklace from your Celebration Beads. For each year of sobriety, you get a necklace that can be work by both men and women," Butler-Lowrie said.

Before this program to fight addiction, Butler-Lowrie was a publisher having written her first book, The Life of Christ Through Poetry and Other Poems. It can be purchased at

"This program is unlike any other. The nature of Celebrate Jesus in totally different from any other recovery program out there. Celebrate Jesus is based on compassion. The Lord Jesus Christ was compassion incarnate," said program director Butler-Lowrie.

"If you are serious about stopping the many addictions that we face, I would urge those interested in giving this program a try," she said.



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