The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office announced Theresa Basart Ottelia as the new CORE peer recovery specialist.
FCSO received a grant through the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership to form an Overdose Response Team (ORT) until September 2025. An ORT partners a law enforcement criminal investigator with a peer recovery specialist to respond to fatal and non-fatal overdoses within their jurisdiction.
The peer recovery specialist’s role is to support others in recovery from a substance use disorder. The peer recovery specialist serves as a role model, mentor, advocate and motivator to recovering individuals in order to help prevent reoccurrence and promote long-term recovery. Through the ability to share personal recovery experiences, the peer recovery specialist is able to develop authentic peer-to-peer relationships.
The peer recovery specialist will provide counseling for the overdose victim on available treatment and recovery services and follow-up and track these individuals to promote treatment and recovery. In cases of fatal overdoses, the peer recovery specialist will refer family members to grief counseling resources. The peer recovery specialist will also engage in community education about substance abuse by working with local coalitions and schools.
Ottelia said that, after many years of lived experience, providing services to others linking bridges of support and recovery are a passion for her. She is a member of the Arkansas People Achieving Recovery Together, a devoted wife, a mother of three with two grandchildren and the current director of The Women of Refuge Delivered (The Word) in Heber Springs. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, working in the yard or playing on the lake. One of her favorite activities is taking her grandbabies on new adventures.