Privacy and Anonymity at a Drug Rehab or Addiction Treatment Center

Privacy and Anonymity at a Drug Rehab or Addiction Treatment Center


A lot of people who are nervous about getting clean and sober may be worried about privacy and anonymity at a drug rehab or addiction treatment center.  They may be nervous about these issues for a number of different reasons, such as:

* They have some prominence in their community or they are visible as a leader of some sort, and they do not want word leaking out that they have a problem with addiction or alcoholism.

* They do not want anyone else to know about their drug or alcohol problem, period.

* They live in a small town or a small community and they fear that if they go to rehab, everyone in their small world will know that they have a problem.

* They may have a job where reputation is somewhat important or they work as a professional, and they do not want rumors about their drug or alcohol addiction to create problems in their career for them.

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And so on.  These types of concerns are very common for people who are hesitating to go to rehab.

So what can be done about this?  Is it the case that everyone who is nervous should ignore these concerns and simply take the plunge anyway?  I would argue that most people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction should probably bite the bullet and check into treatment, given that:

* Their privacy and anonymity at rehab is protected from a legal perspective, at least from the point of the staff that work there.  Due to HIPPA laws and such, at least in the U.S., no one who attends treatment can be “outed” in any way.  The people who work there are always well trained on how they must keep the identity of their clients a secret from the outside world.

* Addicts and alcoholics who are nervous about exposure from the other clients in rehab can always attend a treatment center out of state.  This prevents them from bumping into local folks who might talk about them locally.  Now if you happen to be nationally recognized or a celebrity then this is not going to work, but then again, there are much more private rehabs available that cater to celebrities as well.

* Going to rehab and being “exposed” is not the worst case scenario for most people, though they may think that it is.  No, the worst case scenario is in NOT going to rehab and letting their addiction escalate until they foolishly expose themselves in public due to their addiction and its consequences.  That is the real danger.  Denial keeps the typical addict or alcoholic from seeing this logic though, because they believe that they are still in control for the most part, and that such things may happen to other people, but will not happen to them.

The bottom line is that you will never have a 100 percent certainty that if you go to rehab it will be kept an absolute secret from everyone.  That can never be guaranteed in full because you cannot control everyone.  But the reality is that the most people’s fears of exposure are way overblown, and they are typically fooling themselves on some level anyway.  For example, most people think that they are pretty sly in hiding their addiction, not realizing that many people already know or at least heavily suspect the problem.

Asking for help takes courage but you should not let fear of exposure deter you from getting the help that you need.  If you turn your life around by going to rehab, the positive effects of this far outweigh any exposure risks that live mostly in your mind.

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