Knowing how to respond to those with a substance use disorder, learning how to serve their needs, and sharing the possibility of hope were themes that resonated among more than 100 attendees at an annual gathering forused on recovery.

The Reach for Recovery conference, held September 26-27, 2023, at the Marriott Louisville East, brought together professionals in the addiction recovery treatment community to support long-term recovery models that are fully informed, clear, and ethically grounded in research, treatment, and recovery support services.

Operation UNITE and the KY HELP Statewide Call Center participated to spread the word about youth prevention and options available for obtaining assistance about substance use disorder questions. UNITE also set up its Hope Wall.

“We believe it’s important to share with the community that recovery is possible,” Jay Davidson, Executive Director of The Healing Place, told Spectrum News. “When I say ‘recovery,’ it’s not just being no longer using drugs or alcohol. When we use the word ‘recovery,’ we mean a productive and meaningful life.”

Davidson said Kentucky needs to do a better job of intervention and prevention and reduce demand for substances by providing treatment.

The conference included presentations from:

  • Monty Burks, Deputy Director of the Tennessee Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, on the connection between faith and recovery.
  • Brittney Garrett, Senior Director of Public Safety Engagement and Strategy for Jeffersontown’s PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative), and Amanda Chapman, Jeffersontown Police Department’s Community Resource Supervisor, on police and public health partnerships.
  • Jimmy McGill, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Next Step Recovery Housing, on peer recovery and recovery housing.

Other presentations focused on addiction counseling and the continuum of services for substance use services.

The conference was hosted by Addiction Recovery Care and The Healing Place