42 CRF Part 2: what does this mean? Nowadays it seems like nothing is private, that everything you do or say has an audience whether you wanted one or not. Privacy is not a thing most people want to give up, especially if they are struggling with something they don’t even want to admit to themselves. Having an addiction may be one of the most personal things someone may deal with, and some may feel like they have those letters stamped on them for all to see. However, there is a law that makes those stamped letters fade away.
42 CRF Part 2
What do these numbers and letters mean and what does it have to do with privacy? This law is particular to patients in a substance abuse program and how their information can remain confidential. Unfortunately, there is so much stigma around substance abuse and many do not want to be associated with it. With the help of this law, patients can be assured that their “records relating to the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment…in a substance abuse program that is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States”1 will be protected. In other words, any information gathered in substance abuse treatment will remain confidential unless the patient has given written permission to release to a third party.
Events of Disclosure
There may be a time when your information must be disclosed in an emergency situation. Circumstances include:
- Medical personnel that are helping in a life-threatening situation
- Law enforcement agencies in the event of a crime on property or against program personnel
- Reports of child abuse and neglect
- Court ordered disclosures
Your information may also be disclosed to outside auditors, evaluators, central registries, and researchers. If any personal identifying information is disclosed, those entities are prohibited from redisclosing without consent. Every step is taken to ensure that your information is safe, and that the entities get the minimal amount of information needed to carry out their task.
If you are more at ease with the privacy you will get while receiving treatment, reach out to a clinic near you. Our dedicated staff will be happy to help you. Substance abuse treatment is growing across the country and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or fear your privacy if you feel like it will get you closer to the life you want to live. Information regarding 42 CRF Part 2 and other privacy documents are available at our clinics as well should you have any questions or concerns.
1 Kunkel, T. (n.d.). Substance Abuse and Confidentiality: 42 CFR Part 2. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from http://www.ncsc.org/sitecore/content/microsites/future-trends-2012/home/privacy-and-technology/substance-abuse.aspx