NewsCovering Kentucky


Daughter of DV8 Kitchen founder publishes book about erasing the stigma of opioid abuse

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 17:52:06-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you’ve been to DV8 Kitchen, you’re familiar with their delicious food, but you might also know about their life-changing mission for people with substance abuse disorders.

“DV8 is designed, developed and will operate as a second chance employment,” owner Rob Perez told LEX 18 in 2017 when his first location opened.

Five years and a second location later, Perez’ daughter Sam is reflecting on what she’s learned from her parents’ business.

“Watching them focus on addiction and hiring people in recovery has been really cool to see,” the 22-year-old said.

It’s why the college senior spent her last year at the University of Georgia writing a book titled Deviate from Denial: Erasing the Stigma of Addiction and Recovery Through Inspirational Stories.

She’s crowd-funding the book, which includes the history of the opioid epidemic, solutions for the issue, and real-life stories from DV8 employees. She also shares what steps her parents took to operate their business and how other employers can replicate the model.

And Sam says her work won’t be over once the book hits shelves this fall. In her new career as a TV reporter, she wants to share even more perspectives from the opioid epidemic.

“I start that new job in July, and I'm really looking forward to telling those stories,” she said. “This is the first one that's going to be published that I'm really excited about.”

You can pre-order the book until April 30 here.