Community Substance MisUse and Recovery Summit

May 16th 2023 8am-4pm, MSU Paducah Campus

FREE One day in person summit in Western Kentucky to improve understanding of Prevention, Treatment, Recovery, and Harm Reduction principles, priorities, and practices including reducing stigma and partnerships between public health and public safety. This summit will be recorded by the MSU Production Department and posted on Purchase Area Health Connections website.

Time Until Summit








Continuing Education

Approved for 6.8 hours for RN and LPN

Approved for 6.75 hours for County Elected Officials Training Incentive Program

Approved for 6.75 hours for FRYSC

Approved for 6.75 hours for SW and LPC

Pending Continuing Education for LMFT, CADC, and Psychology.

This may qualify for PSS CE please reach out to DBHDID-TRIS.

Mercy Health is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Virginia Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Free Narcan

Narcan will be available for Free.


Be a vendor at the event

Click here. 

Featured Speaker

Donnie is presently an investigator with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, where he also sits on several state level committees combating prescription and opioid drug abuse, and presenting content involved with these matters. Donnie continues to work with law enforcement agencies and policy makers in promoting and enacting harm reduction based programs such as syringe service programs and pre-arrest diversion concepts.


Donnie was the director of the NCHRC’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program and also served as the NCHRC’s Policing Coordinator where he was heavily involved in the Naloxone Program for Law Enforcement and First Responders. He also assisted with developing, and implementing harm reduction legislation. Presently Donnie presents and advises at the state, local and national level on issues dealing with the opioid crisis. Donnie is also a consultant for JBS International working on overdose prevention programs across the nation.


Donnie is a retired Special Agent In-Charge for the NC SBI Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit (DECU) where he developed policy, conducted and supervised investigations dealing with prescription narcotics and environmental violations. Donnie has been an active duty law enforcement officer since 1988.

Donnie Varnell

Dare County Sheriff’s Office Investigator, NC

SBI Special Agent In-Charge, Retired

Featured Speaker

Donald McDonald is a person thriving in recovery from severe mental and substance use disorders. He has experience providing peer support in an opioid treatment program and a residential recovery program and clinical services in a drug treatment court setting and an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team. Previously, Donald served as the National Field Director of Faces & Voices of Recovery, the Executive Director of Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, and the Director of Advocacy & Education at Recovery Communities of North Carolina. His current role is Technical Expert Lead at JBS International, where he provides training and technical assistance to HRSA-funded rural consortia across the country as they build capacity in response to the overdose and addiction crisis.

Donald is a veteran, husband, father, grandfather, social worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and Recovery Coach Professional. He holds a Bachelor of Education from NC State University and a Master of Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill. Donald is a proud recipient of the NCADD Bronze Key Award and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Dogwood Award. He is the producer and host of a freedom from addiction podcast, No Thanks But Yes, which features chill conversations with splendid people who’ve overcome chaotic substance relationships via many, many pathways.

Donald McDonald, MSW

Technical Expert Lead, JBS International

Featured Speaker

Dallas W. Hurley, JD

Senior Project Director, Recovery Ready Communities | Volunteers of America Mid-States

Serving Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Clark & Floyd Counties in Indiana

A Louisville native and graduate of Morehead State University and the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, Dallas Hurley has dedicated his professional career to public service in both the state legislative and executive branches. Dallas Hurley has been an advocate for evidence-based policies aimed at increasing positive outcomes in public health and safety. Hurley began his legal career as a nonpartisan legislative analyst for the House and Senate Judiciary Committees with a special emphasis on drug policy. When his former House Judiciary Committee Chairman was appointed as the Secretary of the Kentucky Justice Public Safety Cabinet, Hurley was selected to serve as Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary. While employed with the cabinet, Hurley focused on improving re-entry outcomes for justice-involved individuals suffering from substance use disorders by implementing the Secretary’s overhaul and expansion of the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ Addiction Services Division and strengthening cross-cabinet cooperation on harm reduction initiatives aimed at lowering overdose mortality among individuals recently released from correctional institutions. These efforts included pilot projects to expand the use of medications for opioid use disorder for both incarcerated and community-supervised populations beyond just injectable naltrexone. In his final year of executive branch service, Hurley was promoted to Deputy Director for Data and Special Initiatives in the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy where he supported the Kentucky’s efforts at lowering overdose mortality and improving access to high quality treatment programs for Kentuckians suffering from substance use disorders. After concluding his executive branch service, Dallas returned to the Kentucky General Assembly where he served as General Counsel for the House Minority Caucus. In August of 2022, Dallas Hurley was hired as the Senior Project Director for Recovery Ready Communities at Volunteers of America Mid-States where he assisted in the development of the population categories, scoring, and evaluation criteria for the Recovery Ready Communities Certification Program. Hurley is currently working to recruit as many cities, counties, and regional entities to participate in the Recovery Ready Communities Certification Program.

Registration & Schedule

Registration is FREE. Please register by visiting:

Our Sponsors

Thank you to the Opioid Taskforce Summit Committee for their continued dedication!

Purchase District Health Department

Turning Point Recovery Community Center

Purchase Area Health Education Center

Paducah Police Department

Mercy Health

Anthem Medicaid


McCracken County Public Library

Murray State University School of Nursing and Health Professions

Baptist Health

DOC Probation and Parole

Passport by Molina


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,000,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit