Will my therapist report me for my drug use? No, this is unlikely. If you’re simply discussing your personal drug use, that information should be protected under therapist confidentiality laws and also under HIPAA, the Health Information Portability and Information Act. HIPAA is a federal mandate that protects your health information, whether it be physical or mental, from distribution or viewing by unauthorized persons.
These persons include anyone not directly involved with your medical care. People authorized to view, distribute, send and discuss your health information are typically limited to pharmacists, physicians, medical insurance companies and other professionals directly involved in your care. In some states, law enforcement can also access this information if it’s part of an active criminal investigation.
Your therapist is there to help you confront your drug abuse and explore and address the reasons behind it. You are not likely to remain clean of drug use for long if the underlying issues related to it are not treated. This is the primary reason why simple drug detox doesn’t work by itself and why drug rehab treatment needs to immediately follow detox.
Can your Therapist Tell on You?
Yes, there are mandatory reporting laws for therapists and other medical professionals. These laws often include teachers and others in close contact with minors. There are also ethics laws that apply to therapists that could conceivably be interpreted differently by different therapist individuals. It can get a little grey and fuzzy, but simply seeking therapy for your own drug use should be safe. Laws may vary from state to state, but in general, your therapist must report you to authorities if you:
- Say you’re going to harm someone or yourself
- Reveal past or present abuse involving children
- Lead your therapist to believe your life is in imminent danger from someone else
- Reveal certain criminal activity
These kinds of laws, while necessary, can put your therapist in a position. However, seeking a therapist’s help for your own drug use doesn’t normally fall into any kind of reportable category. Your therapist isn’t going to call the police on you for drug use as soon as you leave the office. He or she would much rather work with you so you don’t need to take drugs.
Law enforcement has failed miserably to stop drug abuse. Jails and prisons don’t work. Incarceration is no more than a temporary solution at best. Were this not true, no one would ever go to jail more than once, and repeat incarceration rates for drug-related crimes are quite high. Add in the current trend of dark drug markets operating on anonymous networks like TOR on the dark net. Add to that the plethora of so-called research chemicals or RCs available on the regular internet, and you have a drug problem that is world-wide in scope and worse than ever. Rogue laboratories produce novel drugs of abuse with chemical formulas never seen before and therefore not yet illegal. As fast as authorities can ban the novel drugs, the laboratories produce new ones and so on. It’s a game that law enforcement will never win.
Types of Therapy
Don’t worry about being reported by a therapist for drug use. It’s not going to happen unless very unusual circumstances are present. If you’re really worried, consult with an attorney in your state first. Therapy is most helpful and may make the difference between long-term sobriety and continued drug abuse and the risks that come with it.
There are different types of therapy that have been proven to work:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- EMDR or Eye Movement and Desensitization
- Reprocessing Motivational Interviewing
These therapies are all evidence-based. This means that they have been proven to work. Some of them, such as EMDR, focus on reducing the present-day impact of past trauma. Drug use is sometimes linked to severe childhood trauma that was never resolved. The person uses drugs to distance themselves from this trauma without even realizing it. EMDR uses eye movements and coaching from the therapist to help you confront your past trauma in a safe way and reduce its impact on your current life. EMDR can be done with or without hypnosis. Other types of therapy may focus on tools you can use to avoid relapse and improve your relationships with others.
We can Help
We’re a group of professional drug treatment counselors, and we can help you with any kind of a drug treatment requirement you may have. Just call us anytime at 833-846-5669. We’re here to help.