“What’s more harmful to patients being treated for drug or alcohol use: Risking their health by keeping other medical providers in the dark about the care, or risking the patients’ jobs, homes and child custody arrangements by allowing potentially damaging details to be shared widely among providers?
Advocates have painted the possible patient outcomes in starkly different terms as they consider the federal government’s recently proposed update to guidelines that govern the release of patient records about treatment for alcohol and drug use.
What everyone can agree on is that protecting the privacy of people who are being treated for substance use is critical. If such information becomes public, it may have a devastating effect on their work and family lives. In some cases, it also may have legal repercussions, including arrest, prosecution and jail. The mere threat that treatment details might be disclosed can be enough to deter some people from seeking help.”
Source: NPR.org – March 22, 2016