Project Renew: Legal Support for Substance Use Disorder Recovery

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In the ongoing battle against substance use disorder, a new initiative is emerging to address a critical aspect often overlooked in traditional recovery programs – legal challenges. Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG) and Kentucky’s other civil legal aid programs are pioneering an innovative effort, Project Renew,  to include legal assistance as a fundamental component of the recovery process. 

Unresolved legal issues can perpetuate a cycle of addiction, as individuals struggle to find stable ground due to the ongoing repercussions of their past actions. Legal challenges faced by those in recovery are diverse, ranging from dealing with criminal records through expungement, to overcoming barriers to stable housing, to addressing family court matters, to getting out from under debt. Legal issues can pose significant obstacles to those in recovery. By providing legal assistance, LABG aims to create a supportive environment that fosters rehabilitation and empowers individuals to rebuild their lives. Project Renew provides holistic support to those on their journey to recovery.

Currently, LABG is focusing services through Project Renew in its rural counties. These counties including some in Appalachia, have been hard hit by the opioid epidemic and tend to have fewer resources to support those in substance use disorder recovery. Through the project, LABG has a dedicated attorney who collaborates with outpatient treatment centers, re-entry programs, DV shelters, drug courts and state initiative groups to establish a referral network for those in recovery to receive free legal assistance. This collaborative effort also seeks to provide mental health services, housing assistance, clothing and necessities, and other community-based resources to this vulnerable population.

“We are spreading the word that help is available for this vulnerable population,” says Rachael Specht, LABG’s Project Renew attorney. “Those seeking legal help as a result of substance use disorder should call our main line at 859-431-8200 to apply for our services.” 

LABG’s hopes that through future funding these services can be expanded to other parts of their service area.  Project Renew is funded through a Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission grant. 


Need Legal Help

Legal aid protects the rights of people living at or near poverty with legal problems such as:  housing, consumer, family and public benefits. We ensure access to justice for all people, including veterans, the elderly, those who are disabled and victims of domestic violence. You can call us to apply for assistance Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. or Friday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Calls are answered in the order they are received. You may also apply online by clicking "Apply For Help" below. 


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