Video documenting stories of drug addiction to debut at Covered Bridge Park

Published 7:23 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Erasing the stigma of addiction is one of the goals currently underway by Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition.
Partnering with other agencies throughout the community, CCDP is unveiling a special treat to residents in September.
Behind the work of local videographer Josh Wilson, a 30-minute video titled “Faces of Addiction,” will be shown at Covered Bridge Park on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. with no admission to the public.
Wilson, a videographer from Johnson City, said the experience has been an eyeopener and he didn’t balk at the idea of helping raise awareness of addiction locally. Along with Faces of Addiction, Wilson has worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, Good Samaritan, Rise Up and several video projects with area churches.
“I have never been an addict or struggled with addiction,” Wilson told the Elizabethton Star Tuesday. “But I am a full-time single parent. Part of my process of becoming a full-time dad is because my daughter’s mother has had on and off again issues with drug addiction.”
Throughout the process, Wilson added he was able to speak with three different individuals about the story of battling through addiction.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into at first,” Wilson said with a smile. “I thought I was just making another video. I was obviously interested and Bryan Smith was the one that really helped get me in touch with people.
“These are the people that have seen the darkest of days,” he continued. “They chose to stop being victims and become victors. I want people to know that there is hope out there and there is something to fight for, every day. I really come to admire their stories and it was a joy sharing their stories. My hope is to share their story with the public, accurately, and hope people start showing sensitivity to addiction and are made aware of the issues.”
Smith, with SilverAngels, and Wilson were both on scene at Covered Bridge Park Tuesday filming additional content for upcoming projects for CCDP. Smith is serving as a producer for the project.
“The faces of addiction have changed so much,” Smith said. “We think of a 24-year-old, pale person living under a bridge. But it could be your doctor, your school teacher, your pastor or someone living with you. They could be the best mother, father or spouse.
“When the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition was put together, it was put together to educate,” he continued. “What are we educating on? You also need to identify what addiction is and destigmatize. It leads to a better way to attack it. We believe social media and other media outlets are the best way to get the word out.”
Faces of Addiction will be the unofficial start to a campaign to help raise awareness of drug prevention in the county.
“This is going to highlight three people’s stories,” Wilson said about the video. “But there is so much more to talk about. In order to tell it accurately, it needs to be condensed.”
Hours of video have been shot by Wilson, ranging from area coaches, economics in the county, law enforcement and others about how drugs impact the community.
Smith and Wilson thanked everyone assisting with the projects, including Dallas Cowboys tight end and Elizabethton native Jason Witten. Witten is working alongside CCDP with the “Starters Never Start” campaign.
Other projects will be coming around the bend. Individuals looking to learn more about the mission locally can visit Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition on Facebook.

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