Privacy and Alcohol Treatment

August 2, 2010

privacy_policy_1673_1673Alcohol treatment is a big deal in someone’s life, especially when they have to stay away from home for a while. And even if it is done through an outpatient program, the time and focus is significant. If you were going through rehab for a few months, would you hesitate to tell some family members? Would you delay telling some of your friends? If you did, you wouldn’t be alone. Privacy and personal choice is an important aspect of getting sober.

Emotional Pain – Sharing vs Keeping It Inside

When someone has alcoholism, they want to keep a lot of their concerns to themselves. Most keep their deepest feelings and thoughts private from absolutely everyone. Privacy is also very important for people going through alcohol treatment. However, this kind of privacy is a little different. Alcohol treatment is an emotionally safe environment where everyone is expected to participate or express themselves in some way.

Holding everything in makes sobriety more challenging.

Sharing can be a real struggle for some people, even if they are assured confidentiality and no judgement about what they express. Talking directly about emotions can be difficult at first. Most alcoholics have learned long ago to protect their feelings from the scrutiny of others. They survived by keeping their vulnerabilities to themselves because they couldn’t count on others to support them. This hesitancy is pretty normal when starting alcohol treatment. It can improve with time, patience, and courage.

How Alcohol Treatment Protects Your Privacy

Health information privacy laws have recently put additional barriers around everyone’s personal health data. Employees at an alcohol treatment clinic may also have limited clearance to see private notes or personal details. Only people with a need to know will have permission to see your records in any form. This keeps the visibility of sensitive information as low as possible.

Your privacy is also protected from people on the outside. If you want certain individuals to be able to leave a message or get your records, you will give specific written permission. You might want to include family members, your doctor, or maybe your lawyer. Or, you may not want anybody know that you are getting treatment. If someone calls about you and they aren’t on your list, the clinic will simply not acknowledge that they have any information about you.

Privacy And Alcohol Treatment

Privacy gives people protection in alcohol treatment. It allows each person the opportunity to express themselves honestly. Yet that may be the thing recovering alcoholics struggle with the most. It can take someone a while to feel comfortable sharing feelings with others, even in a private setting.

Alcoholics can feel pretty vulnerable until trust is built up during treatment. With patience, alcohol treatment counselors can help people open up. When someone learns they can lean on another person, they don’t have to live with their emotional pain all by themselves anymore.

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