Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehab: Confidentiality and Privacy
Inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug addiction rehab programs have helped many patients who had become addicted to one or more substances break their addictions and return to normal, productive lives. Depending upon the severity of the addiction and how much of an impact it has upon the patient’s day-to-day life, treatment in a private residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility may be imperative. The person can also receive confidential, regular sessions with a therapist to treat addiction issues.
Regardless of the setting and scope of a substance abuse program or regimen, it is important that the patient’s dignity and privacy be preserved at all times. This is especially true when the patient is able to function normally, and he or she just wants to deal with his or her addiction through private therapy or support groups. If someone is able to go to work, attend classes or manage his or her family life normally while undergoing treatment, this treatment absolutely must be kept confidential; otherwise, unwanted consequences can occur because of a breach of privacy in which his or her loved ones, colleagues or employer find out that he or she is undergoing therapy for addiction. Once this happens, the patient can feel ashamed and return to his or her substance abuse as a way of dealing with the shame.
Even a stay in a residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation program must be kept confidential unless the patient is the one who informs his or her loved ones that he or she is turning to a residential treatment center in order to break the addiction. Privacy must be maintained on the part of the center as well as on the part of anyone who refers patients to a center. It is only the patient who has the right to make his or her confidential treatment details known to others.
If you are looking for a private inpatient or outpatient treatment program for any form of substance abuse, and you want to make sure that even your request for information remains as confidential as possible, please contact our confidential assistance hotline at 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? or fill out our contact form. We will help you find an alcohol and drug addiction rehab program that is right for you or your loved one, and we will use your information only to find the program that is right for you.
Laws Regarding Patient Confidentiality
Keeping patient information private and confidential is not only good policy, it is often mandated by law. In the United States, substance abuse related patient information must be kept confidential by law so long as the practitioner or treatment center is considered a “Federally- assisted” practitioner or facility. Since the term “Federally-assisted” applies to any practitioner or program that accepts Federal insurance programs or is tax-exempt in any way, chances are that a patient will find that his or her treatment provider falls under that definition.
Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment
Various insurance options are available that make it easier for patients to afford effective drug, alcohol, and behavioral addiction treatment programs. Private and public health insurance often covers at least a part of the costs of residential and outpatient treatment for all types of addiction.
Once a patient has completed an alcohol and drug addiction rehab program, as well as at any time during the course of that program, the treatment center or practitioner cannot release treatment records without the patient’s consent, except in certain circumstances related to law enforcement, medical research, and transfer of confidential records to another practitioner or facility that will provide another phase of the patient’s treatment.
While fully private alcohol and drug addiction rehab centers and treatment providers may or may not be bound by Federal confidentiality laws or similar state regulations, it is in the care provider’s best interest to keep records confidential. Many patients have been persuaded to accept treatment only because that treatment remains private and confidential. This is especially important when the patient is, in general, a responsible and productive individual who has simply developed an addiction problem but is willing to deal with his or her addiction.