Am I Guaranteed Confidentiality in Addiction Treatment?

Am I Guaranteed Confidentiality in Addiction Treatment?One of the many concerns people have for addiction treatment is the stigma attached to it. They are afraid to be viewed as a recovering addict, especially because of the discrimination they may draw. California residents may be scared that they will always be viewed as a drug addict, and not as a normal person. However, just like many fears, the stigma is much larger in a user’s mind than it is in reality. Knowing that confidentiality is important in rehab can encourage people to seek therapy.

Confidentiality in Addiction Treatment

Some California residents greatly fear calling themselves drug addicts, especially because they may face job discrimination and the inability to form new relationships. Essentially, they fear they might not be hired for a job because they had a substance abuse problem in the past. They believe that employers will be too fearful of relapse to hire someone who struggled with drugs. Likewise, they fear that people they are attracted to might avoid people whose pasts are checkered with such deep scars.

However, confidentiality helps change the game. Instead of the stigma being out in the open, addicts can choose who they want to tell, in their own way and in their own time. Many protections are provided for a recovering addict. For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed several years ago, and it provided specific instructions on how substance abuse programs and insurance companies should handle patient records. The names and conditions of any California patient are not to be shared with a third party. However, confidentiality is a two-way street, so whatever a patient learns in rehab about another patient should also be kept confidential. Respecting and helping peers is a good step toward privacy.

This means that people do not have to fear that their lives will be ruined if they seek addiction treatment. Instead, it can encourage them, because addiction treatment may offer a recovering addict the best life possible. Of course, future junctures in life may require California residents to divulge some of their addiction struggles, but doctor/patient confidentiality can assure that this will happen on an addict’s unique terms. Just as with any other medical issue, what happens in the hospital is the patient’s business first. The fear of being “found out” should never be a reason for avoiding addiction treatment.

Help for California Drug Addicts

If you or a California loved one is experiencing problems with addiction and is afraid of the stigma of rehab, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline right now, because our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day to assist you in any way they can. Get help as soon as possible to begin overcoming your addiction.

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