Shasta Bell is a peer recovery coach for Help 4 WV—a resource center for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Bell works to connect drug court participants with the resources they need to successfully recover while also serving their time in the criminal justice system.
Peer recovery coaches are vital for an individual’s recovery. Bell’s unique past allows her to be the advocate her clients need.
At 19 years old, Bell got into a fight with her mother that led her to move out of her family’s home and move in with her boyfriend. The two spent almost an entire decade moving from place to place and battling addiction.
It wasn’t until Bell and her boyfriend moved to New York to try and start over that she said she finally got what she needed. Bell was arrested at work by federal agents.
“That kind of put my life on another path. Thank God, because I was probably going to die,” Bell said.
Bell recalls waking up in her cell at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in Summers County, West Virginia and wanting to start over—it was time to get help.
Video by Anna Saab