Do Family Members Have a Right to Information About a Loved One at an Alcohol Rehab Center in New Jersey?

When you participate in a treatment program at an alcohol rehab center in New Jersey, you\’re status is similar to that of a patient in any healthcare facility. This ensures that your participation in the program will be considered confidential, prohibiting anyone from learning about your situation without your consent. This includes your close family members even when they are only inquiring out of concern for your condition. Whether they call or submit a request for information in writing, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits staff members of a facility from sharing any information.

They may even be prohibited from confirming that you are in the facility or receiving any treatment. If a certain family member is listed as an emergency contact or worked to help you get admitted into the facility, the staff will still withhold your information. The individual will be told to wait until they can ask you about your recovery directly. While this can be frustrating for your loved ones, it ensures the rehab center can offer a safe and confidential place to begin your recovery. HIPAA establishes protections against \”protected health information\” from being shared with anyone, except in specific circumstances.

This includes past medical history or addiction treatment history in addition to any treatments you\’re currently receiving. Any need for future treatments are also protected to ensure patients feel as though they can trust their caregivers. Especially in terms of addiction recovery, the individual must feel as though they can share deeply personal information about themselves. This level of trust isn\’t possible without the protections that HIPAA offers.

A rehab center\’s staff can never be certain that a call or email was submitted by an actual family member or that the family member has the recovering addict\’s best interests at heart. This is another reason they enact policies that prohibit the sharing of information with anyone. It\’s also simpler to let each recovering addict decide for themselves what information they will share with their family members. This avoids confusion that can lead to unwanted outcomes.

When Will Your Family Members Find Out About Your Addiction Rehab Experience?

If you have family members with whom you\’re estranged or those with whom you\’re not particularly close, those individuals may never know anything about your addiction or recovery. It will be up to you to decide who you will tell, although sharing your experience with more people will help you build up a stronger support system. Your closer family members and friends probably know that you\’re in a rehab center already, so you should think about sharing your experiences with them. They will want to understand what you\’re going through, and they will want to do what they can to help.

When you begin receiving visitations in rehab, it will be helpful to tell your loved ones how your life will change upon returning home. This can mean requesting that your home be designated a sober living place where alcohol is prohibited. You may also ask your family members to put medication out of sight before your return, so you won\’t face those triggers on a daily basis. An essential part of recovery involves family therapy sessions that resemble the peer group support meetings you\’ll have with other recovering addicts. The difference is that family therapy will only involve you, your family members, and a therapist. Sessions will involve discussing how your addiction affected your family and how your familial relationships contributed to your substance use. These are complex issues to address and will stir heavy emotions, but the therapy sessions will help you and your loved ones work towards healing those relationships.

While you still may not want to discuss the details of your recovery, sharing something about the experience will help your family members see how you have changed. If you expect them to provide support for your recovery, you\’ll have to open up to them in some way. For example, if you explain why physical fitness has become an essential part of your recovery, your family members may show an interest in sharing your workouts with you. This can help you bond closer together as you engage in healthy activities as a family. If you or a loved one is ready to begin a treatment program at a New Jersey alcohol rehab center, contact our counselors at 833-610-1174. We\’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and help you find the treatment program that\’s right for you.

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