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Confidentiality

Facts and beliefs disclosed during treatment for alcohol and drug use disorders are confidential in order to prevent the patient from being penalized as a result of seeking help. Information cannot be disclosed to other individuals without the patient's consent except in limited circumstances where (a) law requires mandatory disclosure (e.g., cases of suspected child abuse), (b) the counselor must act to protect the patient or someone else from harm, or (c) there is a valid court order requiring the release of information. Specific federal regulations, moreover, provided added protection for the confidentiality of alcohol and drug treatment records. This section examines four facets of confidentiality: (1) ethics and clinical practice, (2) the federal regulation specific to alcohol and drug treatment records, (3) the Privacy ...

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