Warren, Arkansas – The Warren Rotary Club’s program for Tuesday, Nov. 30 inside the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church was Samantha Ellis, who is the Peer Recovery Specialist at Bradley County Medical Center. Ellis has been on the job six months in this position, which is funded by the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership. Her position allows her to support and guide people who are undergoing substance abuse challenges. The crowd listened as Ellis explained her life story and her own struggles with substance abuse as she is in long term recovery. She spoke at great length about her relationship with God and how her religion was one of the main reasons she has been able to overcome her own stints with addiction. Her experience allows her to be a peer advocate and role model to provide treatment and recovery resources. A good number of people aren’t willing to talk with doctors or nurses or other people about their addiction problems for fear of being judged, but Ellis gives them an outlet that is on their level and will not judge them. She listed off the number of people she has been in contact with and explained that not everyone wants help, but she has been able to find resources for a number of her referrals and community outreach cases. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help people and feels like she’s been able to do a great deal of help as there are not many Peer Recovery Specialists in South Arkansas. Ellis is also currently enrolled at UAM after earning her Associate’s Degree from SAU-Tech. She has plans to pursue a Master’s Degree and Doctorate. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can contact Ellis on her office line at 870-226-4541 or her cell phone number at 870-500-4642.
Pictured above are Warren Rotary Club President Dennen Cuthbertson and BCMC Peer Recovery Specialist Samantha Ellis.