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Scott Co. recovering addicts say there is hope

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A group of recovering drug addicts from southeastern Indiana came to Indianapolis to face their addictions. That group had a message for addicts in their hometowns; that they could overcome their addictions.

More than two dozen people in the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center are from Scott County or the surrounding areas. Those are the communities in the grip of an HIV outbreak linked to injection drug use.

The Salvation Army group gathered Thursday to pray for the people affected by the outbreak. Kris Hunley, Austin, Ind., led the group in prayer.

“Thank you for saving us from a drowning situation like you did Peter, dear heavenly Father,” Hunley said.

Hunley said he’s been clean for three years after spending more than two decades addicted to drugs, including prescription painkillers, cocaine and heroin.

“If an old dope fiend like me, if God can do it for me, He can do it for anybody,” Hunley said.

Tim Stagnolia of Austin said he spent years using painkillers, meth and oxycontin. He said he’s now been clean for six months.

“I’ve been there,” Stagnolia said. “And I’m thankful that I’m here today (and) out of it, so I can rebuild my life in this short amount of time that’s been set aside for me.”

On Sunday, the group will take their message on the road to the First Christian Church in Scott County. They will share their stories and encourage drug addicts to seek help.

“We’re going to get out there. We’re going to boot up. We’re going to get out there to try to change some lives and get people in these doors,” Rob Waggoner, a recovering addict from Seymour, Ind. said.

Addicts seeking treatment can call the Salvation Army and ask for the intake coordinator at (317) 638-6585.

Help is also being offered at the Community Outreach Center in Austin and the number for that facility is (317) 605-1480.