Can IOP Rehab Centers Report Addiction As Crime?
A lot of addicts are hesitant to begin their journey simply because they are afraid of being convicted. Drug use is illegal in most areas and the patient may feel scared to get admitted for fear of getting jailed. To ease some of your hesitations, the answer is that drug rehabs cannot call the police just because a patient is admitted for drug use. This is also applicable to people with criminal records. The rehab center cannot call the police if you are merely seeking help.
Rehab centers focus on your recovery from substance use disorder. These centers will equip you with life skills to help you attain recovery and live a healthy and sober life.
There may be instances when a rehab center needs to call the police. Learn more about these instances, patient confidentiality, and your rights in this article.
What is Patient Confidentiality?
1. The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
The HIPPA is created in 1996 with the goal of preventing health care professionals from exploiting or sharing sensitive patient information. The information can only be shared if there is explicit consent from the patient. This is also known as doctor-patient confidentiality. This law also covers drug rehab centers. This means that they cannot share your personal information even with the police. The law gives patients privacy and full control over how their medical information can be utilized.
However, there are exceptions to when the information can be legally shared even without your consent. These instances include:
· Life-threatening medical emergencies
· Signs of neglect or abuse
· Subpoenas or legal warrants
· Certain types of researches
For these cases, the facility is allowed to share your information but only enough to fulfill the goals and needs. This means that not everything will be released. Drug rehabs can be severely penalized for unlawful sharing of personal information with up to 10 years of prison.
2. The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records
The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records was introduced in 1975 and was revised in 1987. This states that rehab centers are not legally allowed to divulge the personal information of their patients, especially if the information will confirm the patient’s enrollment in the rehab center. This still applies even after the patient has left the rehab center. It can only be overruled if there is explicit consent from the patient or if there is a warrant or subpoena from law enforcement. Any staff member who breaks this law can face legal consequences.
Can Patients Be Convicted In Rehab?
No. patients enter rehab for treatment and will therefore not be turned into the police. However, there are special cases in which law enforcement may have to get involved. One instance is if the person is arrested for non-violent drug abuse. They will go to drug court instead of jail in which they will be mandated to get admitted into court-ordered rehab. This is necessary to reduce the likelihood of relapse or simply for crime prevention.
Patients must show up to drug court because failure to do so will get the police involved since it is an explicit violation of court orders. This may lead to harsher punishments.
Essentially, the police can only be involved if the drug abuse patient is:
· Exhibiting violent or destructive behavior
· Wanted by the police (with a warrant to prove it)
· Only going to rehab to avoid criminal detention
The personnel in the drug rehab center may also call the authorities if the patient is caught using more drugs in the treatment facility. In some cases, law enforcement agents may choose to wait for the patient to complete their inpatient treatment program before they are arrested.
The conclusion is that patients will not get arrested just for having a substance abuse disorder. Treatment facilities will not get the police involved unless the aforementioned criteria are met. At the end of the day, rehab centers have the goal of getting patients the help and treatment they need and deserve. Patients do not need to worry about their personal information being released since there are laws in place that are designed to protect their privacy and wellbeing.
About R&R Recovery
R&R Recovery is proudly accredited by the Joint Commission. The professional staff passes industry standards and is guaranteed to provide clients with the highest level of care possible. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.