Choosing to get professional help for your substance misuse issues is a big step and should be applauded. However, deciding whether to undergo treatment as an inpatient or outpatient can be discussed with your chosen treatment facility when you contact them.
Unfortunately, many alcoholics and drug addicts are resistant to treatment. As a result, the number of states passing drug and alcohol treatment laws is growing.
Laws governing involuntary commitment are currently in effect in 37 states and the District of Columbia. However, in Rhode Island and Montana, people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction are eligible for involuntary commitment. Those suffering from drug addiction, on the other hand, are only eligible in Vermont.
It is only natural to be concerned about what happens next and your rights as a patient with a substance abuse recovery center. After all, any treatment you embark on is likely to affect all areas of your life as you work through your addictions and move forward toward sobriety.
The Standard Treatment Center Laws They Must Meet
There are no formal guidelines for determining whether someone needs to be in an inpatient or residential treatment unit. The decision is usually based on an assessment performed by a physician and another mental health worker and the client’s requests or expressed needs. These individuals that are sent to inpatient or residential treatment units are generally not regarded as a significant risk to themselves or others, and they can function relatively independently, but still require strict supervision and structure.
The Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act (1970) and the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act (1970) are two statutes that deal with the confidentiality of drug and alcohol addiction patients (1972).
The Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare created federal regulations in 1975, and the Department of Health and Human Services amended them in 1987. Under the Public Health Service Act, Congress recently confirmed and reformed these statutes.
Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. HIPAA is the industry standard for, among other things, preserving and maintaining the confidentiality of patient health information. HIPAA requires substance abuse treatment clinics, health care professionals, and anyone else involved in patient care, such as health plans and health care clearinghouses, to safeguard patient information when communicating or transferring it electronically.
Ensuring Confidentiality with A Treatment Center
Providers of inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers are bound by the laws described above, and those found to be neglecting their legal responsibility are at risk of fines from $500 to $5,000. Furthermore, patients whose confidentiality has been exposed are allowed by law to pursue legal action against the facility. In addition to this, the treatment center could also have their license revoked.
If you are concerned about how your rights and privacy will be affected, then you can contact your treatment center for more information and guidance on the procedures they have in place to ensure patient confidentiality at all times, from the moment you check in to treatment right through to the completion of your program.