Privacy And Anonymity During The Process Of Recovery From Substance Abuse

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Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by Ben Lesser

People who do substance abuse often wonder how many people are dealing with their addictions and wondering what others are doing. There is evidence that almost 23.5 million of the Americans population uses drugs or drinks alcohol, a figure from a 2010 government-commissioned survey.

[1] You are not alone, but if you do illegal substance abuse and consume alcohol, you could end up feeling like you are. Being with others brings us comfort and company. At an early age, we learn to build lasting relationships by connecting with others, sharing experiences, and building lasting bonds. In addition to the danger of addiction, there is also the danger of treating those relationships that you have tried to build over many years. People of all strength can be brought to their knees by it.

For people to seek treatment however, they also sometimes seek it in a discreet setting when seeking it for substance abuse treatment. Although some find shame in how far they have come, many do not want to be humiliated around their addiction and so they seek medical assistance with a sense of privacy.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 20.4 million Americans use illicit drugs and substance abuse on a monthly basis [2].There is a misconception that all teens who use drugs or alcohol are addicted, but recent statistics show that out of the 23.1 million American adults 12 and older who have a serious substance abuse problem, only 2.6 million received treatment in 2010, leaving another 20.5 million without help.

 Is it because you are afraid that people will find out that you are undergoing treatment?[3] 

Studies of substance abuse tell although it is true that the average person is not a celeb, it is still in their best interests to keep their personality in the privacy of their own home so that there is no risk of fear of finding their private life published in the tabloids the next day. There are, however, important factors to consider when deciding on who to trust with your personal problems, so do your research beforehand. Not everyone can be trusted to keep your affairs private, since it is no use sharing your problems with just anyone. The fact that a person keeps their life in a state of hush-hush doesn’t just mean they are doing it for their own egos, rather it’s also done to help them get the help they need. So, these steps are necessary to cater substance abuse.

Children Who Is the Abuser and What Is the Abuse?

The worst case scenario is that your children learn that your drug, alcohol or substance abuse is coming from you to your children. Many times, by the time they’re old enough to seek treatment, it’s already been discovered by them. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take if they have not yet in order to ensure that if they have not found out about your addiction problems you will not be able to tell them until after you have gotten clean and sober. One report from 2012 pointed out that at least 7.5 million American minors who were living with one of their parents had abused alcohol the previous year[4] You are not alone.

A person who has been determined by a court of law to have caused or allowed maltreatment of a child (sometimes called the perpetrator) is referred to as someone who engages in child abuse or neglect. Studies of substance abuse tell in most States, child abuse, as well as child neglect, are the crimes of parental abuse or neglect in which a parent or someone within the family of the child harms the child under their care. The term “caregiver” is defined according to state laws, and the legislation of each states may be different. Researches related to substance abuse tells children who suffer injury or illness caused by someone other than their own parents -such as a close relative, a friend, or a stranger – may not qualify for abuse or neglect, but they may be considered victims rather than abusers or neglecters.

Provides an overview of the most common characteristics of individuals who abuse children. These characteristics include having an adverse self-perception, psychological immaturity, involvement in substance abuse, and more. There are also signs of physical abuse, serious psychological trauma, and emotional abuse on the website, along with indicators that suggest a child may be in danger from these types of abuse. There’s a lot of confusion about child maltreatment, domestic violence and the interventions to help children and families affected by both, so this book provides information on both topics and tells significant information about substance abuse.

CDC provides information about risk and protective factors as well as important protocols of care related to substance abuse. They provide these resources to individuals and their families, as well as to public health professionals, researchers, and others. 

Good Friends

There are around 17 million Americans who suffer from alcoholism in the United States [5]. With that many abusers, it’s likely someone you know — possibly even a close friend — is also battling alcoholism. Entering a substance abuse treatment program offers the best opportunity to separate yourself from the flock. There are some people who are more likely to reveal their alcoholism or mental health to their friends than you think, and you may find out that some of your friends will tell you about their addiction to alcohol. Researches related to substance abuse tells this is usually the point where your true friends become apparent.

The loss of friends is one aspect that most substance abuse treatment centers must deal with. Additionally, it can be quite difficult to avoid feeling angry if you have made some trusted friends who may have abandoned you at the time of treatment. In order to succeed and keep yourself motivated, you must acknowledge the fact that not everyone is designed for this kind of struggle. Although we now know that addiction to drugs, substance abuse or alcohol is a mental health condition as opposed to merely people who make poor choices, many still look at these people as poor actors. Mental health disorders are not exempt from this stigma. One example of how it leads to often avoidance of treatment is consistent with an analysis of 144 studies conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London[6].

‘The Boss Man’

The question of whether addicts should tell their employer when they enter treatment is also a common one. In today’s world, addiction is not an unusual problem. The top manager in your company is likely well prepared for such a discussion. These health issues are taken into account in most companies today. Companies with substance abuse coverage often offer health benefits as part of their health insurance, as it’s in the main concern of the company to maintain fit employees. The substance and alcohol abuse rate in the US was 10 percent on average in 1998. [7] When companies have taken steps to deal with substance and alcohol abuse on their employees, they have a lower prevalence of substance abuse.

You have to be creative in order to find an alternate explanation for the time you need off to recover from your addiction if you don’t believe you can inform your boss directly about it. Doctors are able to prescribe time off when necessary and can speak directly to your employer with your permission. It helps to better cater the substance abuse issues.

 In addition, researches related to substance abuse tells the doctor must ensure the protection of your confidentiality while explaining that your need to go on a period of time off work is genuine.

Woes at The Workplace

Study of substance abuse tells there’s no arguing with the fact that you might be the boss sometimes. But then you might wonder if it’s okay for you to inform your employees of your shortcomings? Would they accept this? With having to deal with employees and running a business, there is some amount of stress to be considered; on the other hand, stress has been demonstrated to be significantly linked to substance abuse. Research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 60 percent of people rely heavily on their jobs for a high level of stress, and 44 percent of respondents drink more after an exceptionally stressful day.[8]

Therefore, it is entirely natural to wonder whether a declaration like this will damage the reputation you have for being a superior manager and whether or not it will bring disrepute to the company , which is why no one wants to believe that you would do that. Study of substance abuse tells regardless of how you decide to distribute the information, you can rest assured that your absence will be truly helpful, and that it will be delivered with the professionalism you desire.

Obviously, if you don’t tell people about your time away, that can leave people feeling you’re not giving them a lot of attention, or they might mistake it for being uncommunicative. People who work under you tend to see eye-to-eye with you only if you humanize yourself a little more, which a confession about substance abuse might take to translate. However, you are free to choose whether to tell them about your substance abuse issues or not. For the same reason, coworkers should also respect other people’s privacy as well. If you suspect you may lose respect for another person or seem less competent than another, it would probably be best not to discuss business of a personal nature with them beforehand.

The Extended Family

Researchers found a relationship between the length of time family members spent caring for patients and their decrease in substance use in a three-year study of patients who had both substance abuse disorders and co-occurring severe mental illnesses[9]. 

There are many people who have extended families to take into account when they decide to enter substance abuse, drug or alcohol rehabilitation other than their jobs and those under their roof, like your partner and children.

Most of your family members are quite aware of the fact that you have been substance abuse, abusing drugs or alcohol in the past and have attempted to conceal it than you are. A person should feel comfortable telling one’s family and friends about their personal battle. The last thing you want is to let them down or reject you. Ignore talking to certain relatives up front if you can tell they won’t support your decision to seek help, or if you suspect they may not. The process of embarking on a journey toward healing is an intimidating process for many. Study of substance abuse tells it is crucial that you surround yourself with some of the most trustworthy and caring people possible.

Options for Treatment

Additionally, 113 people die every day due to drug overdoses, the highest of any single cause of death[10].In 2012, 5.91 percent of all deaths in the world were linked to alcohol consumption [11].

Leaving an underlying illness untreated will not make things better. As a patient you will undergo thorough screenings to be confident that an underlying disease is not going undiagnosed. Atypical substance abuse disorders, as well as co-occurring disorders such as with hypomania, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among patients presenting with atypical substance abuse disorders.

 According to a report published in 2010, 45.1 percent of the 20.3 million adults who were diagnosed with substance abuse disorders had an accompanying diagnosable mental illness.[12]

Only 17.6 percent of adults who are not suffering from substance use disorders have any mental illnesses, further proof that substance abuse and mental illness are linked.[13]

In general, patients benefit most from combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with medication when necessary — when all other choices have been exhausted. There is no doubt that simultaneous treatment of an alcoholism or a drug abuse problem has a significant impact on the success of your treatment. The research related to substance abuse also indicates that drug abuse is more prevalent in the mentally ill population than alcohol abuse since 53% of drug addicts have at least one diagnosable mental health problem while 37% of alcoholics have a diagnosable mental health problem.[14]

Privacy Is Important

There ought to be no doubt in your mind when it comes to picking a rehabilitation facility that the institution in question will follow high standards, particularly when it comes to maintaining patient confidentiality and confidentiality of inpatient information records. You must give authorization to release your medical information to individuals you have authorized to communicate with your substance abuse treatment provider. These individuals include, but are not limited to, your probation officer, your spouse, and your family physician.

If you decide from the beginning not to reveal your rehab details to any specific individual, you are nevertheless in danger of them learning about it on their own. Study of substance abuse tells for some people, individuals close to you, including family and friends, they may even feel hurt that you trust your family and friends so little. Often, the pain of betrayal stings the children of addicts who have been unaware of their parents’ addictions. People whose parents suffer from alcoholism or in substance abuse are more apt to show signs of specific behavioural problems such as low self-esteem and difficulty managing money, in addition to heightened risks of developing an alcohol dependency issue themselves.[15]

Approximately 28 million Americans have witnessed a parent suffer serious harm due to the consumption of alcohol and substance abuse. It is critical to remember that your intentions might be pure, but they do not mean anything to the emotionally injured party, and they may not not safeguard them long-term either.[16]

Laws Governing Privacy

As part of the 1996 Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to protect substance abuse patient information. In 2004, the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” were issued as an amendment to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, dubbed “the privacy rule.”[17]

Even though they sign the paperwork for HIPAA every time they visit a doctor’s office, many people do not know what the law means.

Studies on Substance Abuse Tell Under the Aforementioned Provisions, All Information that Might Identify You Is Covered, Including:[18]

  • Submissions of claims
  • Coordination of benefits
  • Generally, the following are the types of inquiries you may make to our assistance
  • Health insurance payment information
  • Transmission of the enrollment information
  • Referral certification and authorization

An organization that violates the regulations on Confidentiality of Drug Abuse and substance abuse Patient Records can be fined up to $500 for committing their first violation of the code as well as up to $5,000 in fines for each subsequent offense.[19]

It is important to keep in mind that some facilities that receive no federal assistance may have certain exemptions from the standards, so it is always a good idea to inquire directly with the facility in question. So, this information must be known to properly manage substance abuse issue.

Confidentiality Between Doctor and Patient

It is permitted for institutions to disclose information regarding your medical records and substance abuse treatment admissions in exceptional cases associated with emergency situations, where the institution may be required by law to provide information to legal authorities, or a threat to one’s health arises. Since 2009, HIPAA breaches have compromised the health records of 29.2 million patients, making selecting the right facility a paramount step in the treatment process. [20]

It is fine for you to reveal your own personal information without your permission as long as it is not a definite emergency.

Studies on Substance Abuse Tell in Order for Your Health Records and Treatment Information to Be Released to You, You Must Sign Very Specific Forms that Include the Following Information: [21]

  • Your treatment program’s name
  • Name of the recipient
  • Patient’s name
  • The purpose of the disclosure
  • What type and how much information will be released?
  • There is a statement regarding patients’ right to withdraw consent at any time, except where action has already been taken by the program
  • When the disclosure becomes invalid, a date, an event, or a presenting situation
  • A patient’s signature, dated

Assurance of Insurance

Whenever they use their employer-provided health insurance coverage to receive treatment for substance abuse problems, many patients worry that their employers will find out about their hidden problems. 

It’s possible, even if they’re unaware they’re doing anything wrong, that they might question your appointment for time off without just cause; you must be aware of your rights for time off after a HIPAA data breach occurs. [22]

Researches related to substance abuse tells in some cases, your employer can gain insight from details of a claim information, including the reason for treating an employee, spouse, or child, but they are not privy to any other identifying information, such as your name or email address. [23]

If you are seeking workers’ compensation, a leave of absence, or if you are applying for health insurance, many companies will require more information in regards to your absencet and substance abuse record; do not overlook this, and realize that any additional information may have an adverse effect on your application for those services.

Security

A common fear of losing employment due to drug abuse and alcohol abuse is the possibility one will lose their job. Unless you are currently abusing drugs or alcohol and substance abuse, and it are interfering with your productivity, attendance, and behavior, it is illegal and unethical to fire someone for past addiction on the basis of past off-the-job behavior. An estimated $186 million is said to be incurred annually by alcoholism among Americans, leading to a major depletion of the nation’s budget. [24]

You might also run the risk of losing your employer’s trust as a result of your drug or alcohol abuse.

 It may be determined that the substance abuse that you undergo would compromise your ability to complete the work and hinders the company’s ability to succeed as a whole, so you could be fired. Additionally, if you are required to pass a drug screen and fail it, then that could result in a dismissal from your current position. Three million uninsured employees full-time met the criteria for substance abuse treatment in 2007 and 2008, but only 12.6 percent of them got help.

[25] Don’t let the responsibilities of your job take precedence over choosing to avoid harming yourself.

Researches related to substance abuse tells people with addictions with disabilities can also enjoy an advantage with regard to receiving treatment. As such, under the American Disabilities Act, an individual who demonstrates that he has already successfully recovered from alcoholism or drug abuse will not be discriminated against based upon his or her past history.[26]

You may be protected from being fired if you are also seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as long as the condition does not impair your ability to perform safe and adequate work. [27]

As long as they don’t have an undue hardship, employers will work with you to allow you to participate in treatment, and they are also responsible for keeping your attendance in treatment from your employer due to the fact that they do not know your substance abuse history.[28]

Researches related to substance abuse tells the Family and Medical Leave Act makes it possible for employees with a job that they’re currently employed at to take up to 12 weeks off to seek treatment for a medical condition, with government regulations making it virtually impossible for employers to terminate you because of such a request. [29]

During Post-Rehab

About 23.1 percent of admissions into publicly-funded substance abuse treatment programs in 2008 resulted from alcoholic abuse alone, while another 18.3 percent of admissions occurred in cases of alcoholics combining alcoholic drink with a drug of abuse.[30]

Studies related to substance abuse tells almost one-third of treatment admissions in 2008 were due to drug abuse, an increase of two percentage points from 1998.[31]

We cannot say how many of these patients remain sober long-term, but your chances of maintaining sobriety are higher when you receive treatment than without it. After treatment, substance abuse patients that remain drug-free are likely to continue their addiction treatment on an outpatient basis through 12-Step programs or support groups.

Occasionally, patients do experience relapses regardless of the treatment. Being prepared for it rather than assuming that it doesn’t happen to you will allow you to deal with it more effectively. According to the findings of one study, patients suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse and living in a community setting were almost twice as likely to need a hospital stay the following year than those without dual diagnoses.[32]

Researches related to substance abuse tells 10 percent of American adults told researchers they had been in recovery since 2012, admitting that they had been depressed before but are no longer. [33]

We have a success story you can be a part of. If you would like to begin your journey to a drug-free and sober life by speaking with an admissions coordinator you can call our toll-free number listed above. We can provide you an assistance to cater substance abuse issue.

Citations

[1] Join Together Staff. (2010 September 28). “New Data Show Millions of Americans with Alcohol and Drug Addiction Could Benefit from Health Care R.Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Accessed August 13, 2014. [2] Buddy T. (2014 June 2). “Rates of Illicit Drug Abuse in the U.S.About.com Accessed August 13, 2014. [3] “Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.” (2011 September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 13, 2014. [4] “Report shows 7.5 million children live with a parent with an alcohol use disorder.” (2012 February 16). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 13, 2014. [5] “Alcohol Use Disorders.” (n.d.). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Accessed August 13, 2014. [6] Krans, B. (2014 March 2). “Stigma Still a Major Hurdle in Getting People the Mental Health Care They Need.Healthline News. Accessed August 13, 2014. [7] Benderly, B. and Hafer, F. (1998). “Substance Abuse Prevention in the Workplace: An Employer’s Guide.Thirteen wnet. Accessed August 13, 2014. [8] Daily Mail Reporter. (2012 July 6). ”Two thirds ‘hit the bottle’ to relax after a stressful day at work.Daily Mail. Accessed August 13, 2014. [9] Clark, R.E. (2001). “Family support and substance use outcomes for persons with mental illness and substance use disorders.Schizophrenia Bulletin. Accessed August 13, 2014. [10] “Alcohol.” (n.d.). World Health Organization. Accessed August 13, 2014. [11] “Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet.” (2014 July 3). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 13, 2014. [12] “Co-Occurrence of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse.” (2012 January). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 13, 2014. [14] “Substance Abuse and Co-occurring Disorders.” (n.d.). National Alliance on Mental Illness. Accessed August 13, 2014. [15] “Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIPS) Series, No. 39: Chapter 2: Impact of Substance Abuse on Families.” (2004). Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Accessed August 13, 2014. [16] Gold, M.S. (2006). “Children of Alcoholics.” Psych Central. Accessed August 14, 2014. [17] “The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulation and the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Implication for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs.” (2004). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 13, 2014. [19] “Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIPS) Series, No. 36: Appendix B – Protecting Clients’ Privacy.” (2000). Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Accessed August 13, 2014. [20] Ouellette, P. (2014 February 5). “Health data breach report: 137 percent breached record uptick.HealthITSecurity. Accessed August 13, 2014. [21] “Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIPS) Series, No. 36: Appendix B – Protecting Clients’ Privacy: Figure B-1.” (2000). Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Accessed August 13, 2014. [22] “What is a HIPAA Violation?” (n.d.). OnlineTech. Accessed August 13, 2014. [23] Luhby, T. (2014 February 12). “What does your employer know about your health?CNN Money. Accessed August 14, 2014. [24] FreeAdvice Staff. (n.d.). “Firing Employees with a Drinking Problem.FreeAdvice. Accessed August 14, 2014. [25] “Health Care Assistance for Uninsured” (n.d.). LiveStrong. Accessed August 14, 2014. [26] Carter Batiste, L. (2013 March 11). ”Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Drug Addiction.Job Accommodation Network. Accessed August 14, 2014. [27] “Are You in Recovery From Alcohol or Drug Problems? Know Your Rights.” (n.d.). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 14, 2014. [30] “DrugFacts: Treatment Statistics.” (2011 March). National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accessed August 13, 2014. [31] “Changes in Admission Patterns over a Decade.” (n.d.). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed August 14, 2014. [32] Drake, R. and Wallach, M. (1989). “Substance Abuse among the Chronic Mentally Ill.American Psychiatric Association. Accessed August 13, 2014. [33] Feliz, J. (2012 March 6). “Survey: Ten Percent of American Adults Report Being in Recovery from Substance Abuse or Addiction.Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Accessed August 13, 2014.