The consequences of a substance abuse problem can reach across all areas of life, from relationships to employment, to even the ability to sustain one’s life safely. Given that the consequences are so grave, it’s no surprise that substance abuse treatment centers are often the most likely avenue of treatment for people with very severe addiction problems. There is another kind of treatment program, too, that allows people to get help in an outpatient setting and still maintain their lives independently. For folks who haven’t gone as far down the road of addiction, this treatment setting allows them to remain independent in their own homes or around their families without having to commit to inpatient care.
Outpatient settings are often more ideal for people who still maintain employment and residences. With more intense outpatient counseling and group meetings, some folks are able to get their life back on track without inpatient care. Ideally, everyone would like to be able to do this, but if you can’t there’s no shame in going into inpatient treatment. Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient care, you’ll find that confidentiality laws exist to protect your sensitive medical records in an outpatient substance abuse program as well.
Substance Abuse Treatment Confidentiality Laws
In our modern era, it’s a shame that there is still such a stigma surrounding the treatment of substance abuse problems, but the reality is that this stigma does exist and few folks who seek treatment want to face a future scenario where a potential employer or even relationship interest finds out that they were in treatment. Folks in inpatient or outpatient treatment want to know that they can safely and confidently discuss their most private issues without having someone get their hands on the information someday and use it in an irresponsible way. That’s why states and federal agencies have worked so hard to make sure that there are laws governing the privacy of people who seek outpatient treatment, too. It’s obvious why state and federal agencies have an interest in this. Drug addiction is a public health concern.
It affects not just the user but also the social structures we depend on to survive. Billions of dollars are lost annually because of substance abuse. People who might thrive and contribute to society are struck down and unable to work or contribute, and it’s a terrible situation for not just the person but the society that depends on them. So it’s natural that government agencies want to make it easier for people to get help and recover from substance abuse issues. Without privacy laws, some people would never get help. Thankfully, those laws exist for outpatient programs, too.
Confidentiality Laws For Outpatient Substance Abuse Programs
HIPPA is a well-known act that covers patients of any outpatient or inpatient facility that accepts state or federal funding. Under HIPPA laws, you are fully protected and no one can access your medical records without you expressly give your permission in writing. For example, if you’re in treatment at an outpatient facility, no one will be able to know that, much less see your medical records, unless you give that specific person or authority the ability to see your records.
The Department of Health and Human Services laid the groundwork for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and ever since then, clients of outpatient treatment centers can rest more easily when they go into treatment. Your information is yours. You own it. Even in an outpatient setting, you’re going to be able to find out whether or not your particular treatment facility is covered by HIPPA laws. If it’s a private facility not covered, you can then inquire about what confidentiality laws they do have in place. Outpatient drug treatment programs have a responsibility to patients to make sure that their privacy is protected, even if HIPPA laws don’t apply.
When you call to inquire about outpatient treatment programs, ask them what privacy regulations they have in place to make sure that no one except you has control over your information. A good outpatient program will always have confidentiality agreements in place, and you only share your information with someone if you expressly put it in writing that you want to. If you’re looking for an outpatient program that respects your right to confidential care, you’ve found the right program. We can help you with your substance abuse problem in a discreet, respectful, and confidential way. Call us now at 800-411-8019.