Research & Treatment

Ethics and Confidentiality

The confidentiality of medical records documenting addiction treatment is the fundamental requirement for the establishment of trust when the most private details of a person’s life are revealed.  Activities of addiction treatment providers are addressed by laws which recognize that these special therapeutic relationships should be protected by the strictest expectations of confidentiality.

In addition to the protections provided for records of general medical encounters per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), addiction medical records are afforded further protections under Chapter 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2 (42 CFR Part 2).

Federal Regulations

Applying the Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations: 42 CFR Part 2 (FAQs)
Learn more about how HIPAA protects your health information.

Public Policy Statements

Confidentiality of Patient Records and Protections Against Discrimination: A Joint Statement by American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and the Association for Medical Education and Research on Substance Abuse

ASAM Public Policy Statement on Confidentiality in Physician Illness


US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights