Privacy in Drug Rehab Programs

Rehabilitation can be the remedy to certain addictions when all other options were already exhausted. In the United States and probably anywhere, people fear of being stigmatised when they choose this option for treatment. Others opt to just keep the problem to themselves and wait until the intoxication wears off, but what they do not know is there are limits as to what we can do on our own and when we already need professional help.


If confidentiality is the main concern why people do not seek medical help, there have been a couple of laws in effect that were designed specially to address anonymity in rehabilitation.


Why Clients Seek Privacy


You can ask any medical professional in the world and they will tell you that part of their job is to keep patient information private. This is also the case when it comes to rehabilitation.


It is understood that in some cultures people who have substance addiction are thought of with low morale. Confidentiality is important because substance abuse problems are highly personal. Even though rehab centers have varying practices, they are one in aiming to make rehabilitation a worry-free process Confidentiality assures that anxiety regarding the rehabilitation being made public would not interfere with the treatment.


Government Intervention


To protect everyone’s interest whenever patients attend rehab therapies and counselling sessions, they are assured and reminded by the medical staff that security and privacy are of utmost concern. To formalize and legalize this practice, these laws have been passed in the US:


The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Privacy Law

Mainly, this about restricting the disclosure of patient records with emphasis on electronic health records and information especially anything about diagnoses and services related to substance use. But his does not only cover the doctor-patient category but includes that between lawyers and their clients.  Violation is punishable by $500 to $5000 as this conforms to Federal law.


The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)


All rehab facilities are subjected to compliance to HIPAA rules as per Federal law requirement. This  safeguards the patient’s medical information, its privacy, and how it is used and disclosed by health providers.


State Confidentiality Laws

When we talk about nationwide medical rules, this is the example of that. Each US state has its own clauses regarding privacy considering mental health and substance addiction problems. Each state can require additional provisions and the coverage of these statutes vary widely but detailed information on such is available and may be requested at any State General Attorney’s Office.


Confidentiality Exceptions


In cases where information about these matters are needed in court hearing, the patient cannot revoke disclosure consent and if the clinician found that the patient poses threat s/he may disclose this information only if s/he was able to a) check if there is a state law regarding duty-to-warn-situation. If there is none, disclosure of the threat is considered “safe” only when b) the condition “meets” certain federal  exemptions.


American Drug Testing Centers takes client privacy very seriously. Speak with one of our intake coordinators today about all of our addiction treatment options.

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