Will My Stay in Rehab Really be Confidential?

Will My Stay in Rehab Really be Confidential?

When you go into treatment for Adderall addiction, one major concern is often whether or not what you disclose will really be confidential. Your privacy is understandably a major concern when entering treatment for your substance abuse. Confidentiality when you enter therapy is one of the main reasons why therapy works. It is within a private context that patients feel comfortable enough to reveal shames, fears, and secrets, and get confidential, nonjudgmental help and support.[1]

In many cases, confidentiality is a rather complex issue because there are several different angles to this issue. A common concern is what happens if your employer finds out about your stay in treatment. What about your healthcare provider or insurance company? Could there be possible repercussions to what you talk about with your therapist?

Healthcare Providers Follow Rules to Protect Your Privacy

One of the most basic rules is The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which has a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and personal health information. This includes information about psychotherapy and mental health. Specifically, the HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect your medical records and other personal health information. This applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.[2]

In many cases, when you first meet with a therapist about treatment you will be given clear written information explaining privacy policies and how your personal information will be handled. This information will explain that in some cases, there are exceptions to the privacy rule. Some of these exclusions include: when protecting the patient or the public from serious harm such as suicide, ongoing domestic violence, abuse or neglect of children or the elderly or individuals with disabilities. Lastly, if there is a court order, it is possible that an individual’s mental health could come into question during the legal process.

Insurance Providers Must Follow Rules to Protect Your Privacy

In regards to health insurance, some information about your diagnosis and treatment will have to be disclosed in order to know what is covered. It is important to note that insurance agencies are bound by HIPPA just as healthcare providers, so there is a universal standard that is applied throughout.

Laws Are in Place to Protect Your Job

If for some reason your employer finds out about your addiction treatment, there are laws in place to protect you from being let go. The two main laws in place are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act prohibit most employers from refusing to hire, firing, or discriminating in the terms and conditions of employment against any employee on the basis of a disability. According to the Department of Labor, employers may not discriminate against drug addicts who are currently in a rehabilitation program. (The EEOC has clarified that a rehabilitation program includes inpatient or outpatient programs, Employee Assistance Programs, or recognized self-help programs such as Narcotics Anonymous.) If you are an alcoholic, this can be applied as an “individual with a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.[3]

Talk to Your Friends and Family Members

There is no law against a coworker, friend or family member telling others you are in treatment. So it is important to talk with them and you can determine what should be said if someone asks where you are. You could say something like “It’s a mental health issue, ” or “they needed some time away to sort things out,” or something else that you are comfortable with others saying. There is nothing wrong at all with not giving a lot of information about the situation. If you do not want others to know the details, you do not have to share them.

You have a right to privacy and for your information to remain confidential. A quality healthcare establishment will abide by the laws and regulations in place to protect you. If you have any questions, please ask them in the process of finding a rehab treatment center. Also, please keep in mind that in some cases, you may not be thinking clearly as you are under the influence of substance abuse. You are likely also very stressed at this point and not feeling your best physically or emotionally. You must find a treatment center that you feel comfortable with and you will have to trust the healthcare provider.

Find the Help You Need

If you are struggling with Adderall addiction and need help, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline, 24 hours a day. Your conversation will be confidential and the only thing asked of you will be some basic demographical information and what prompted the call. The counselor will be glad to provide you with support and encouragement for your situation as well. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to get the help you need to move forward.


[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201408/the-death-therapeutic-confidentiality The Death of Confidentiality. Ley, David. Published on August 27th, 2014.

[2] http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/ The HIPPA Privacy Rule

[3] http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/drugs/ada.asp Drug-Free Workplace Advisor

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