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Lexington’s DV8 Kitchen providing a second chance to people with drug and alcohol addiction


A Lexington restaurant was recently profiled in The New York Times for its efforts in giving people in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction a second chance.

DV8 Kitchen opened last September and not only hires people in treatment for an addiction, “but also focuses its entire business model on recovery, using the restaurant setting as a tool for rehabilitation,” the Times’ Priya Krishna reports.

(Photos from DV8 Kitchen)

“The name is a play on the word “deviate” — a reference to the employees’ aim to detour from their pasts and rebuild their lives,” Krishna writes. The restaurant is owned by Rob and Diane Perez, who also own Saul Good Restaurant & Pub.

The owners told the Times that over the course of 10 years in the restaurant business, they had lost 13 employees to addiction, and half of the cases were related to opioids. “They were not fired,” Mr. Perez told Krishna. “They were dead.”

Krishna writes that the restaurant culture is conducive to alcohol and drug use, with late nights, free shift drinks and tips paid in cash, “the common medium for drug transactions.”

“There are more late nights than early mornings, and it’s acceptable to have a hangover,” said Rob Perez, a recovering alcoholic who told Krishna he had been sober since 1990. “You think all this is fun and normal, because everyone else has that lifestyle.”

In 2016, Kentucky had 1,419 drug-overdose deaths, about four per day. Lt. Jessica Bowman, a public information officer for the Lexington Fire Department, told Krishna that paramedics in Lexington have administered Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug, to at least one person every day since July 2016.

The Perezes told the Times that they hold their employees to “exacting standards” and that by hiring from and working directly with treatment centers, this adds an extra layer of accountability.

Janet Patton of the Lexington Herald-Leader writesFrom Kentucky Health News


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One Comment

  1. Michael Black says:

    Do You have stocking positions or dishwashing or better yet driving jobs thatI could work hrs.starting around 9:30 a.m.? I’m caring for a disabled child who’s parents have abandoned him. My wife and myself are really struggling since we have taken him in. Lost cars and all because its hard. I need a job asap. Thank You.

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