Gay hiking

Dallas Gay, outspoken opioid recovery advocate who had ‘great love for people,’ dies at 80

He had also helped the medical association fund the DAN project, Deaths Averted by Naloxone, leading to the distribution of over 5,000 doses of naloxone to first responders.

J’s Place, the Jeffrey Dallas Gay Jr. Recovery Center on Lanier Park Drive in Gainesville, opened in 2019 as a nonprofit community recovery organization.

When J’s Place moved into its new space in October, Dallas Gay told The Times:

“I know if Jeffrey had had J’s Place after he relapsed, I think he would still be here, and J’s would be named after someone else. I really think that would have (would have) made the difference for him to live and survive.

J’s Place executive director Jordan Hussey said Gay was “passionate and driven”.

“He had a great love for people and helping and changing, and that spilled over into everything he did,” Hussey said.

Dallas’ son Tommy Gay said his father was a quiet leader.

In board meetings, he was not verbose. But when he spoke, people listened, said Tommy Gay.

“If he believed he could make a difference in something, then he had like a relentless pursuit to do so, Tommy Gay said.

Dallas Gay was a man who liked to figure things out for himself and avoided the spotlight, Tommy Gay said.

“He’s seen this crisis unfold, but what he’s doing is realizing that it could be fixed or at least improved,” Tommy Gay said. “…He was obsessed with the fact that he couldn’t not pursue this because he could save lives and start turning around with this terrible ship.”

Dallas knew his grandson was a good boy, said Jeff Gay, and researched the addictive nature of opioids further.

“Dad would never have fought this drug epidemic, I don’t think, if not for his grandson,” Jeff Gay said. “But he knew his grandson was addicted to it and he couldn’t get rid of it, and it ultimately killed him.”

The Gay family said they believe there are still seeds sown by Dallas that have yet to bear fruit.

“His work has done so much to make recovery more positive than the negative effects of addiction,” said Cindy Gay, mother of Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr.