Sobriety is not the opposite of addiction: The peer specialist story | Melissa Dittberner, CEO Straight Up Care, LLC | TEDxUSD

Peer Support and Recovery. A peer specialist is a person with lived experiences that has the expertise to help others navigate through the process of recovery based on training and their experiences. Peer support is a best practice for recovery care but is not being utilized in the ways it could be because of the stigma surrounding addiction, mental health, and recovery. As a person in long-term recovery, I have dedicated my efforts to be a voice for those who feel they cannot use theirs because they are struggling with a disease of the brain that we stigmatize so horribly as a society. I am trying hard to help people learn to help themselves, especially in the wake of the addiction crisis. Dr. Mo, (Melissa Dittberner), PhD, CPS, PS, LMT, is a lecturer in the Addiction Counseling and Prevention department at the University of South Dakota. She has a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology in Education, a master’s in Addiction Studies, and a bachelor’s in Health Sciences. Dr. Mo is also a public speaker, prevention specialist, and peer support. She is the president of Straight Up Care, a telehealth platform for peer supports. Dr. Mo is a co-author of the book Shift Mindset. She does research on college students’ substance use, pedagogy, addiction, trauma, body brokering, tattoos and healing and harm reduction. Dr. Mo is a person in long-term recovery and her mission is to help people learn to help themselves. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Register for the Directory

Get listed and found on the Straight Up Care directory site and app. Connect with other Peer Specialists, learn, and collaborate!

Register Now