Two forums addressing the successes in battling substance abuse and in providing rehabilitation across southern and eastern Kentucky will be held Thursday, October 25.

Both forums begin at 6 p.m., one at the Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center in Manchester and the other at Karen’s Place in Louisa. The public is invited to participate in these free programs, sponsored by the Young Professionals of East Kentucky (YPEK). Refreshments will be served.

In addition to providing an overview of YPEK and an introduction to the host facility, representatives from Operation UNITE will discuss its initiatives as well as the recent National Rx Drug Abuse Summit.

“There are many young leaders in our region who are passionate about their careers and their communities,” said Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. “It is important for them to learn about the problems caused by substance abuse so they can channel their vision and energies and become part of the solution.”

Organizers hope these young professionals can connect to other talented and driven individuals to make Eastern Kentucky a more vibrant place to live and work.

“The event will be an opportunity for us to learn what UNITE, Chad’s Hope and Karen’s Place are doing to help our region with this intractable problem of drug abuse,” said Jonathan Gay, YPEK co-chair. “We look forward to networking with their leaders and volunteers and learning what we can be doing in our respective communities to help.”

YPEK serves a 32-county area in Eastern Kentucky. The non-profit organization, which began in 2009, provides young professionals with opportunities to network, to learn, and ultimately to lead.

Chad’s Hope is located at 300 Chad McWhorter Lane, approximately 14 miles north of Manchester off U.S. 421 in Clay County. Karen’s Place is located at 2135 Highway 1185, approximately 13 miles northwest of Louisa in Lawrence County.

For more information about the event, contact YPEK at or leave a message at 606-930-9141.