Confidentiality is a key concern for many people thinking about rehab, it is hard enough for an alcoholic or addict to admit their illness to their own family, let alone to the outside world. One of the biggest barriers to people getting help for alcohol/drug addiction is the stigma associated with the disease. If your loved one is a high profile individual it will be important to them that their treatment is kept private from the press, clients and co-workers.
Due to the stigma surrounding alcoholism and drug addiction, rehab clinics are aware that patients expect complete confidentiality from their clinic of choice. You should expect that addiction is treated with the same degree of confidentiality as any other health issue.
Confidential rehab treatment
Fortunately residential rehab clinics treat a client’s right to anonymity as a top priority and treatment between doctor and patient is completely private and confidential.
Ensure your family member’s treatment is kept confidential by following these steps:
- Early treatment will prevent the addiction from spiraling even further out of control;
- Consider suggesting they attend a rehab clinic that is located outside your usual locality and away from your office, you will still be able to visit them and receive family therapy, and you can be rest assured that no one in the local area will find out about their treatment;
- Choose who you discuss the problem with carefully – avoid confiding in people who like to gossip;
- Explain to close family members e.g. children, that their relative is suffering from a complicated illness and needs to take time to recover. Make them aware and informed about the situation;
- If your family member wishes to keep their rehab stay private from their employer then you can use holiday allocation for treatment;
- Ask about patient confidentiality when making your first round of enquiries to a rehab clinic and ensure this is stated in the final contract;
- If your family member wishes to keep his treatment private from your usual GP, find a private GP who can refer them to rehab;
- Ensure that no cameras are allowed in the rehab clinic you choose.
Anonymous 12 Step Meetings
Patients may be encouraged to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings before, after or as part of their drug addiction rehab programme. By nature, the 12-step model is completely confidential, ensuring anonymity and privacy. In AA and NA groups first names are used and registration is not necessary. Anything shared within these groups remains strictly confidential.
Try to attend Al-Anon meetings. These support groups provide a chance for families to meet and share their experiences and problems. Al-Ateen is the group run for teenaged children and is specifically geared towards this sensitive age group.