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Does Rehab Go on Your Permanent Record?

The decision to seek help for substance abuse or addiction is the first step toward recovery. However, a common concern is how seeking treatment may affect one’s reputation and long-term goals. Many people find themselves asking, “Does rehab go on your permanent record?”

Does Rehab Go on Your Permanent Record? Understanding Privacy Laws

The short answer is no. Going to rehab is not disclosed in any records. Privacy laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), ensures that rehab is not publicly disclosed on any individual records.

Laws like HIPAA are in place to protect patient’s medical records. This includes information about treatment programs like inpatient rehab or outpatient therapy. These laws help keep an individual’s recovery journey confidential so they can seek treatment without shame or fear. HIPAA protection includes:

  • Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Treatment Information: HIPAA includes specific provisions known as the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records (42 CFR Part 2), which provide additional protections for the privacy of individuals receiving treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Written Consent for Disclosure: Under HIPAA, healthcare providers and treatment programs are prohibited from disclosing a patient’s substance abuse treatment information or medical information without written consent.
  • Limited Exceptions: HIPAA has limited exceptions in cases involving medical emergencies or court orders. However, in these situations, disclosure must be limited to the minimum necessary information.

Does Rehab Show Up on a Background Check?

An individual’s rehab stay will not appear on a standard background check due to federal laws such as HIPAA. However, there are few exceptions to this, including:

  • Court Orders: Legal proceedings, such as criminal cases or child custody hearings may issue a subpoena or court order requiring information about an individual’s rehab participation.
  • Security Clearance: Individuals applying for positions requiring security clearance or positions in law enforcement, healthcare, or transportation may include a more extensive background check that could include information about one’s addiction treatment.
  • Publicly Available Information: Individuals may disclose their participation in rehab programs in public forums, making it public knowledge.

Is Rehab Disclosed on Academic Records?

Because educational institutions are bound by federal regulations like HIPAA, rehab treatment is not included on academic records. This allows students to seek treatment for substance abuse without fear of it impacting their academic standing or future educational opportunities.

Additionally, there are laws in place to ensure school’s do not discriminate against those who have attended rehab, such as:

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 protects individuals with substance use disorders from discrimination in admissions of programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including many schools and educational institutions.

Can I Lose My Job if I Go to Rehab?

There are various employment laws in place to protect individuals seeking rehab treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, including:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including those with a history of substance abuse who are in recovery.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons, including substance abuse or addiction treatment, without risk of losing their jobs.

Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations (42 CFR Part 2)

These regulations protect the privacy of individuals’ substance abuse treatment information and prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on their participation in substance abuse treatment programs, including rehab.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Some employers may have policies that provide additional protections or support for employees seeking treatment for substance abuse, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), flexible work arrangements, or extra support for those returning to work after rehab.

State Laws

Many states have additional laws in place to protect individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse.

When Can Rehab and Addiction Treatment Be Disclosed?

  • Medical Treatment: Information may be shared with medical professionals for health care and treatment purposes.
  • Criminal Investigations: Officials may access medical records during a criminal investigation.
  • Court Orders: Medical records may be subpoenaed by a court order.
  • Insurance Purposes: If rehab treatment was paid for through insurance, records may be disclosed.

Seek Treatment at Mandala Healing Center

Shame, guilt, and fear are all familiar sensations associated with attending rehab. But these feelings should not keep someone from seeking help. Recovery is a journey, and getting the proper treatment is the first step. By addressing substance use issues proactively, individuals can improve their health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

At Mandala Healing Center, we inspire healing through compassionate care. Our team helps clients become fully immersed in their recovery through evidence-based practices, alternative therapies, and medical management. Going beyond the conventional approach of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, patients at our facility heal from the inside out in a safe and comforting environment

Our facilities prioritize the privacy and dignity of our clients and take additional measures to safeguard their confidentiality throughout the treatment process, ensuring the privacy of all our patients. By seeking help for substance abuse or addiction, individuals can take control of their lives, break free from the cycle of addiction, and embark on a journey toward lasting recovery and well-being without fear or stigma. Contact us today to learn more.