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Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau., ICF International. |
|Year Published: 2009|
Confidentiality and the Release of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Information
The Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act (1970) and the Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act (1972) regulate the disclosure of confidential information by substance use disorder treatment programs that receive Federal assistance. Generally, a provider cannot release any information that identifies an individual in the program and cannot acknowledge the presence of an individual in the treatment program. The following are exceptions under which client information can be released:
- It will be used in internal communications between or among those with a legitimate interest who need the information in connection with their duties that arise out of the provision of diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment of substance use disorders if the communications are within the program or between a program and an entity that has direct administrative control over the program.
- It relates to a medical emergency requiring assistance.
- It relates to research or an audit of the program or service.
- It relates to a crime on the premises involving drug use or a mental condition.
- It relates to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.
- A court order has been obtained.
- It will be used by qualified organizations providing services to the program.
- Proper consent, by way of a criminal justice consent form, has been obtained from the individual in the program (in the case of a minor, the consent must be obtained from the patient, the parents, or both). This consent must be in writing and must contain each of the following items:
- The name and general description of the program(s) making the disclosure;
- The name of the individual or organization that will receive the disclosure;
- The name of the patient who is the subject of the disclosure;
- The purpose or need for the disclosure;
- How much and what kind of information will be disclosed;
- A statement regarding revocation of consent;
- The date, event, or condition upon which the consent will expire;
- The signature of the patient;
- The date on which the consent is signed.1
1 Adapted from U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2000). Legal issues. Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Bulletin [On-line]. Available: http://www.ncjrs.org/html/ojjdp/jiabg_blltn_03_1_00/6.html. Back
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