Champion of Recovery: Shelby Gibson
Shelby Gibson, Program Coordinator for the Story County, Iowa, Alternatives Pre- and Post-Arrest Diversion Program, is trained in trauma-informed care and certified as a peer recovery coach. She also holds a master's degree in community psychology. Her focus is on ridding the community of stigma surrounding substance use by helping people understand that substance use disorder is a mental illness. Her program focuses on relationship building and lowering barriers to recovery and treatment, while also offering dismissal of qualifying charges, help in getting connected to a treatment provider, and, in some instances, payment for treatment. Education about substance use is offered to law enforcement officers and prosecutors and includes the sharing of success stories so that officers and prosecutors can better understand how people respond when they are supported in their recovery efforts rather than punished for substance use. Recidivism rates have dropped in Story County.