Photos of hope line walls of Dove Recovery House

Posted at 11:17 AM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 11:17:07-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The front hallway of the Dove Recovery House is lined with before and after photos. It's a point of pride for the women, but these are just snapshots. The real story is what happened between the photos.

Of those who seek treatment for addiction, 70 percent are men. But the Dove Recovery House, a treatment center for women, is trying to help women struggling with addictions.

Karla Otiato started drinking alcohol at 12 years old -- three years after she was molested by her stepfather.

"I just kept drinking because that's what made me feel better -- was to drink," Otiato said. 

The alcohol abuse led to hallucinations and two stays in a mental institution. That's when Otiato turned to the Dove Recovery House.

"My life started off as a mess, and my life is getting better, and I'll being doing something that I never thought I'd be doing," Otiato said.

Now three years sober, Otiato will be a recovery coach at the Dove Recovery House, helping women find their way out of the darkness.

All the women who come to the Dove Recovery House have experienced some sort of trauma. That trauma, in many cases sexual abuse, leads to self-medication and addiction, CEO Wendy Noe said. 

What they're seeing is a direct reflection of the opioid epidemic seen across the country. 

"Over 50 percent of clients that are in Dove House right now are dealing with a heroin addiction," Noe said. 

There are just 38 beds, and there is always a waitlist, with a thousand inquiry calls already in 2017. The help is completely free.

"Dove House works," Noe said. " Our success rate is 77 percent. What we're doing here makes sense. Our model is effective. We tell people it's not an easy fix. We ask for a 90-day commitment. The women can stay with us for two years. We don't charge rent. We don't charge for food. We just ask the women to use the tools they're given. "

But many women don't get to experience those before and after photos because of the role they play in their families. 

"Women, by nature, are caregivers and we tend to take care of ourselves last," Noe said. "That does not ring untrue for women with addiction. There are lots of programs for men, but men are expected to immediately go out and get a job -- and unfortunately a lot of the men don't have childcare issues. They may not be raising their children."

Otiato's daughter is also a resident at the Dove House. She is 16 months clean.

"Everything the women use, eat, sleep in or sleep on at the Dove Recovery House is donated. If you want to help out, click here to visit their website.