'Recovery is Beautiful' wall aims to save lives in Scott County - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'Recovery is Beautiful' wall aims to save lives in Scott County

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SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- People are sharing stories of hope after a highly publicized HIV epidemic in Scott County. 

A local organization has created walls called "Recovery is Beautiful," featuring people who have battled addiction. 

"Not many people make it to that wall," said Debbie Whitlock, a Scott County native who has been in recovery for 14 years. "I'm grateful to be here. I didn't think I was going to make it." 

The messages of hope comes as a potent batch of heroin has made it into southern Indiana and Louisville. Scott County has struggled with its own health crisis sparked by addiction, an HIV outbreak largely spread among IV drug users sharing needles. 

"Because there has been so much negative publicity, people in our community are ready for some positive stories," said Lori Croasdell, the coordinator for the Coalition to Eliminate the Abuse of Substances (CEASe) of Scott County. 

Croasdell has helped create the wall. She says getting people in the community to share their experiences wasn't as hard as you'd think. 

"People were coming to me, calling me, texting me, emailing me, asking how can I get on the wall?" she said. 

The stories of survival are now up at the LifeLong Learning Center in Scottsburg, Scott Memorial Hospital and the one-stop-shop in Austin, Ind. It was also up during the Scott County Fair. 

"The goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction, mental illness and recovery," Croasdell said. 

Because not everyone can be on this wall right now, those who are want to inspire others. 

"Somebody had to step forward, because people are dying from this disease," Whitlock said. "The recovery wall was something to show people that you can recover, there is hope and you can continue to live a beautiful life without the use of drugs and alcohol." 

Croasdell says she is also working on making a mobile wall that can move throughout the community. 

Related Stories:

Scott County, Ind., gets new tools to fight its drug problem

More than 3,000 Naloxone kits to be distributed to 20 Indiana counties

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