Alcohol and Drug Publications
42 C.F.R. Part 2: Federal Alcohol/Drug Confidentiality Regulations - These are the actual regulations.
Applying the Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations to Health Information Exchange (HIE) (2010) - Frequently Asked Questions.
Applying the Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations 42 CFR Part 2 (REVISED) (2011) - Frequently Asked Questions.
Confidentiality and Communication: A Guide to the Federal Confidentiality Law and HIPAA (2012 ed.) - Legal Action Center's seminal book, available for purchase.
LAC Comments to SAMHSA on Proposed Changes to 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (2014) - LAC’s response to SAMHSA’s May 12, 2014 Notice of Public Listening Session, which proposed changes to the federal regulations that protect the confidentiality of patients’ substance use disorder records (42 C.F.R. Part 2).
Alert: SAMHSA Listening Session on 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (2014) - LAC’s key points and recommendations to SAMHSA on proposed changes to federal regulations governing the confidentiality of patients’ substance use records.
Template Letter to SAMHSA (2014) Due June 25! Use LAC’s template letter to tell SAMHSA to maintain strong privacy protections for people seeking and receiving substance use disorder treatment.
Anti-Discrimination Resources - General
■ Skip to: Anti-Discrimination Resources - Medication-Assisted Treatment
Are you... (Updated 2012) - This booklet is for New Yorkers with HIV or AIDS, a drug or alcohol problem and/or a criminal record who want to know their rights to be free of discrimination. It explains: laws that forbid discrimination; limits on what employers, landlords, and others may ask; how to get a job or housing despite the stigma associated with HIV, addiction, and having a criminal record; and what to do when confronted with illegal discrimination. (Funded by the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute)
Employment Discrimination and What to Do About it (Updated 2002) - Available for California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Virginia, this manual informs service providers about the state and federal laws that protect clients with criminal records, histories of alcohol and drug problems, and HIV/AIDS from being discriminated against by employers. It also provides practical guidance in how clients should handle discussions of these issues in job interviews and on employment applications. (Funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, and New York State Assembly.)
How to Get Section 8 or Public Housing Even with a Criminal Record - This manual tells people in New York City how they can get into Section 8 and public housing even if they or someone in their household has a criminal record or is in recovery from a drug problem. The manual is designed for applicants and their advocates. It contains the New York City Housing Authority admissions policies for people with criminal records and recent illegal drug use, and step-by-step suggestions for how people can gather the evidence of rehabilitation necessary to gain housing. It also includes sample letters of reference the type people really need to convince housing authorities of their rehabilitation. Though the manual focuses on New York City Housing Authority policies, its chapter on How Can You Win Your Hearing? can help people applying to other local housing authorities marshal their best evidence of rehabilitation.
Know Your Rights: Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? (updated 2006) - This brochure describes federal laws prohibiting employment, housing, and other discrimination against people with alcohol and drug problems. It also explains what to do if your rights have been violated. Also available in Spanish. (Funded by Partners for Recovery, an initiative of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) To learn more about state anti-discrimination laws, read materials distributed at the Legal Action Center’s "Know Your Rights trainings" held in Alaska, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Conozca Sus Derechos: ¿Está recuperándose de problemas con el alcohol o las drogas? (2006) - Este folleto da a las personas en tratamiento o recuperándose, tan bien como sus aliados, la información necesaria para luchar contra la discriminación. Le da un descripción de las leyes federales que prohíben la discriminación en el empleo, vivienda y otra discriminación contra las personas con problemas de alcohol y drogas.
Educating Courts, Other Government Agencies and Employers About Methadone (2009) - This publication explains how individuals in methadone maintenance programs and other forms of Medication Assisted Treatment, as well as their treatment programs and advocates, can advocate for their rights so that they can get in or stay in the treatment they need – without discrimination. The focus is on discrimination by the child welfare system and criminal justice system – including driving under the influence, jails and prisons, and probation and parole.
Helpful Resources to Address Discrimination Against People in Medication-Assisted Treatment (2009) - List of useful resources for educating employers, courts and others about Medication Assisted Treatment, including why methadone and buprenorphine do not impair physical or mental functioning when provided to individuals stabilized on the appropriate dose.
Know Your Rights: Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? Rights for Individuals on Medication-Assisted Treatment (2009) - This brochure is a companion piece to Know Your Rights: Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? and describes the specific legal issues faced by people in Medication-Assisted Treatment for opiate addiction. (Funded by Partners for Recovery, an initiative of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Know Your Rights – Training Materials - The Legal Action Center has conducted numerous Know Your Rights trainings across the country for people in the recovery and their allies. Funded by the Partners for Recovery Initiative of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these trainings cover anti-discrimination laws that protect individuals with alcohol and drug problems from discrimination in employment, housing, and elsewhere. They also cover anti-discrimination protections for individuals who also have a criminal record. Click here for the materials distributed at these trainings.
Legality of Denying Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System (2011) - A report that explains why criminal justice agencies violate Federal anti- discrimination laws and the United States Constitution when they deny access to medications, such as methadone and burprenorphine, to treat opiate addiction. The report was written at the request of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD), who, along with the Center, has a longstanding interest in expanding the use of these medications in criminal justice settings.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment: Memorandum of Driving & Psychomotor Studies and Background Information about Methadone Treatment (April 2000) - This packet of information contains (1) a memorandum summarizing recent literature and studies about the effect of methadone treatment on patients’ driving ability as well as psychomotor and intellectual functioning, (2) the actual articles and studies referenced in the memorandum, and (3) background information about methadone treatment. It is a very useful resource for people trying to combat discrimination based on participation in methadone treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (November 2013) - The Legal Action Center (LAC) has developed easy to read FAQs on the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), also known as the federal parity law, which seeks to eliminate discriminatory access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH and SUD) benefits in certain health insurance coverages.
One-pager (October 2008) summarizing major provisions of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).
Summary of major provisions (February 2010) of the MHPAEA Interim Final Rule.
NY Attorney General Assurance of Discontinuance Against MVP Health Care (March 2014) - The full Assurance of Discontinuance between the New York Attorney General and MVP Health Care, detailing violations of the state and federal substance use and mental health parity laws by the health insurer, and steps the health insurer must take to rectify the violations.
Summary of NY Attorney General Assurance of Discontinuance Against MVP Health Care (April 2014) - A detailed summary of the New York Attorney General’s findings of violations by MVP Health Care and ValueOptions of the state and federal mental health and addiction parity laws, as well as steps MVP Health Care is required to take to remedy the violations.
NY Attorney General Assurance of Discontinuance Against EmblemHealth, Inc. (July 2014) - The full Assurance of Discontinuance between the New York Attorney General and EmblemHealth, detailing violations of the state and federal substance use and mental health parity laws by the health insurer, and steps the health insurer must take to rectify the violations.
For additional resources related to parity and insurance, please visit the Coalition for Whole Health.
Here are several sample forms and materials for use by drug and alcohol programs. These materials comply with both 42 C.F.R. Part 2, the federal drug and alcohol confidentiality regulations, and HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. More than 30 others are included in our book, Confidentiality and Communication: A Guide to the Federal Drug & Alcohol Confidentiality Law and HIPAA.
- Sample Consent - Basic
- Sample Consent - Child Welfare
- Sample Consent - Criminal Justice 42 C.F.R. Part 2 only
- Sample Consent - Criminal Justice HIPAA/42 C.F.R. Part 2
- Sample Notice Prohibiting Redisclosure
- Sample Qualified Service Organization/Business Associate Agreement (QSO/BA Agreement)
- Sample Letter in Response to a Subpoena (for use in civil cases)
- Sample Letter in Response to a Subpoena (for use in criminal cases)
- Sample Court Order - This sample court order, adapted from one drafted by the New York State Office of Court Administration, allows a program covered by both 42 C.F.R. Part 2 and HIPAA to use the irrevocable criminal justice consent form permitted under 42 C.F.R. § 2.35 for a particular patient.
- Sample Standing Court Order - This sample standing court order, adapted from one drafted by the New York State Office of Court Administration, allows a program covered by both 42 C.F.R. and HIPAA to use the irrevocable criminal justice consent form permitted under 42 C.F.R. § 2.35 for all patients of that particular program.
Important reminder: State laws and court rules may affect the content of court or administrative orders, as well as the proper procedure for seeking and issuing such an order. Always consult with local counsel on matters of state law.
For additional information on the use of court orders and irrevocable criminal justice consent forms, see pages 36-40 of Confidentiality and Communication: A Guide to Federal Drug and Alcohol Confidentiality Law and HIPAA (Legal Action Center 2012), available on this website.
HIPAA Summary 2014 - Updated outline summarizing the intersection between HIPAA and the federal alcohol and drug confidentiality regulations.
Video/DVD Training Workbook 2014 - Updated copy of the Video/DVD Training Workbook which includes teh "2014 Update: HIPAA, HITECH, and SAMHSA FAQs."