APAC- AR Peer Advisory Committee

The APAC is a 501C3 nonprofit and a subcommittee to Alcohol and Drug council. It is a state driven and peer driven group of people who oversee the peer program in AR. APAC serves as a Guiding light for the peer recovery program in AR.

  Jimmy McGill

Jimmy McGill

Chairman for the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC)
State Opioid Response Coordinator, for the Office of the State Drug Director

Jimmy is a person of long-term recovery and now using his past to help others find their future. Jimmy has led the development of peer recovery throughout Arkansas. He is a Trainer of Trainers and has assisted in the training of over 330 peer recovery support specialists. His efforts have allowed Arkansas to place peers in the emergency rooms, treatment centers, community centers, drug courts, jails, and reentry centers. Jimmy spearheaded the developmental working group that created the Arkansas Model of Peer Recovery which has now gained national attention. He sits on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) advisory board for Region Six. Jimmy was the founding member of the Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together coalition. Jimmy and his wife are the founders of Next Step Women, Arkansas’ first peer recovery home for women. Next Step Women is a non-profit recovery foundation offering recovery housing and assistance to women seeking recovery from addiction.

  Bonnie Stribling

Bonnie Stribling

Secretary for the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee.

Bonnie received her Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in music from Arkansas Tech University in 2012. Before she worked in mental health, she taught students in public schools as an adjunct music teacher up until 2017. In May 2017, she became certified as a mental health paraprofessional and started working for Birch Tree Communities Inc.. She worked alongside members as a paraprofessional, case manager, supportive housing/employment support, and certified peer recovery support specialist. Her peer services were billable to Medicaid and she assisted in writing the peer support prescriptions in treatment plans as well as shaping the role in her agency. Bonnie is a trainer of the Arkansas model of peer recovery support specialist core and advanced training as well as a trainer of trainers. On July 1, 2019, she became the first PRSS for the Department of Youth Services at DHS where she works at a juvenile treatment facility in Alexander and a part of a treatment team of professionals.

  Wade Carter

Wade Carter

Vice Chair of APAC

Wade’s journey started on 12/30/14. His start was not by choice but by a force external of himself. Police, DTF, Jail, Probation officers, courts, and loss of trust with his family. It was in 2017 that he started on his path with PEER support. Today he is a MAT Manger for a treatment provider in the state of Arkansas. For Wade, being a PEER Specialist in treatment and in the community is a big part of his recovery. Being able to help others to find their way to a life in recovery is fulfilling. As a PEER he can be the example to others that recovery is possible. I’m also a Trainer for PEER’s and a Supervisor for Peers, helping shape the future of recovery in the state of Arkansas.

  Casey Copeland

Casey Copeland

Casey is a person of sustained recovery, a PRSS Supervisor, a trainer of trainers, the Director for A.P.A.R.T. Coalition, a ministry leader for Celebrate Recovery, and he also runs a chain of transitional houses known as The Rock of Hope. Casey was the first peer specialist to work in a jail setting in Arkansas.

  Shawn McCown

Shawn McCown PRSS

Deputy Director, NAMI-Arkansas

Shawn is a person in recovery from an Opiate addiction. He has been in recovery for over 5 years. Shawn is a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist in the State of Arkansas and also serves as the Deputy Director of NAMI Arkansas (National Alliance on Mental Illness.).

  Christopher S. Dickie

Christopher S. Dickie

Chief Executive Officer, Natural State Recovery Centers

Christopher Dickie serves as Chief Executive Officer at Natural State Recovery Centers, a recovery center treating substance use disorders in Little Rock. He visits prisons, school districts, and other organizations around the country speaking about various addiction recovery topics. He has also been featured as a guest writer in the Democrat Gazette covering topics around Medication-Assisted Treatment and the importance of Peer Recovery. Active in the community, Dickie serves on the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council where he was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson. He was also named to Arkansas Business’ “20 In Their 20s” list in 2010 and in 2020, he was honored in the 40 under 40’s list.

  Lester Cupp

Lester Cupp

BS, ADC, CS, PR
Health Program Specialist II
ADH/Substance Misuse and Injury Prevention Branch

Lester is a person of long-term recovery. He’s worked in the substance abuse field for over 19 years. Currently, Lester is employed with the Arkansas Department of Health as a Program Specialist. He works with other agencies assisting in developing peer specialist programs. He’s a Certified Peer Support Specialist and was able to be a part of the first group, trained in Arkansas, to train Peer Specialists. He has participated on the working groups that have developed the Arkansas Model for Peer Support, including the Core Model, Advanced Model, and the Supervision Model. Lester currently serves as a Board Member on the Arkansas Substance Abuse certification Board (ASACB) and is also a member of Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together (APART) Coalition.

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