“There’s little specific to substance use disorders (SUDs) in the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015,” a bill from 2013 reintroduced June 4 by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) (see ADAW, Dec. 16, 2013). Like its predecessor, the bill seeks to encourage outpatient commitment, which mental health patient advocates oppose, but at the same time funds mental health programs, especially those based in psychiatry and psychology and medications. But there is one item affecting patients with SUDs: a provision that specifically would weaken 42 CFR Part 2, the confidentiality regulation banning the release of information on patients treated for SUDs. The bill wouldn’t change 42 CFR Part 2 itself, but rather make certain information inapplicable to it. And it would be retroactive — people who thought they had been protected by 42 CFR Part 2 would not be protected anymore.
Like its predecessor in 2013, the bill eliminates the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and adds a bureaucracy within the Department of Health and Human Services at the assistant secretary level.
The bill focuses primarily on mental health — except for the provision removing the privacy protections for people in treatment for SUDs, by saying that SUD information doesn’t apply to 42 CFR Part 2 if treatment took place in an integrated health system.”
Source: Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly – June 15, 2015