One of your primary concerns when entering treatment for drugs and alcohol is what rights you will have while in treatment. The thought of treatment is scary for most, as it is seen as a place where you are giving up certain freedoms in order to obtain freedom from addiction. As this is a struggle for many struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, the rights of you the patient become very important.
Just what rights do you have as a participant in an addiction recovery program? While the final answer varies from program to program, some of the underlying philosophies of patient rights look the same across all types of treatment. Let’s look at a few of these rights that you, the patient, will look to in order to feel empowered and confident in your recovery:
Patient right #1: Your privacy
Thanks to HIPAA, you have the right to almost complete privacy with respect to your treatment. You work with your recovery specialists to uncover a plan for disclosure that is on your own time and within your comfort zone. While you may have to alert family members and your place of employment in order to gain support for your treatment, only those who must know of these plans will be notified, and they must hold up privacy laws on your behalf as well. This leaves you freedom to enter recovery knowing that disclosure happens on your timeline.
Patient right #2: The right to refuse or to give consent to any type of therapy
Many patients begin treatment under the assumption that they must participate in all aspects of care, and while it is expected that you are a willing participant in most activities and treatments that are suggested for you, you still have the right to refuse care or to give consent to any type of care that is presented to you as an option. Looking over your detailed care plan with qualified professionals and having them explain aspects of care that may make you uncomfortable or resistant to complete treatment might help dispel any notions that this is not the right step for you to take. Enter these meetings with an open mind, and know that the professionals in your program have your best interests and your total health in mind when creating your plan.
Patient right #3: The right to have access to your medical records
As a patient in recovery, it is essential that you know where you begin, and what types of obstacles you might be facing in recovery. You have the right to be informed of your condition, and to be able to make decisions based on what you feel is best for your healing journey. Don’t be afraid to ask some difficult questions of your care team, and to courageously open yourself up to the truth of your physical and mental condition so that you can begin to finally heal.
Patient right #4: The right to participate free of discrimination
You deserve to have a care experience that is free from all acts of discrimination or withholding of care based on age, sex, religion, ethnicity, or disability. Quality programs make accommodations for all entering participants, and they provide individualized care based on client need, not program preference.
Patient right #5: The right to know about cost of services
Knowing how treatment will impact you and your family financially is a very important step in determining what kind of care you will receive. Your program should fully disclose the cost of all services, whether those services are funded through insurance, and what portion of care, if any, you will be responsible for. Being able to financially plan for care will take additional stress off of everyone involved and allow you, the patient, to relax knowing that payment will be taken care of.
You’ve made the courageous step to enter treatment and begin healing; don’t let anxiety about your rights as a patient slow down or stop this process from happening. Don’t hesitate; give us a call today at 800-737-0933 to begin the exciting process of recovery and reclaiming your life. You deserve total health!