Confidentiality in Treatment

For patients, families and friends


In the medical field, we understand that addiction is a disease requiring professional care. Unfortunately, there remains in society a great deal of stigma about dependency. While addiction damages health, career and family life, an individual also has to deal with being branded as someone who "made the wrong choices" or "doesn't have enough will power." This, despite their being part of a profession where scientific understanding is a byword of daily life.

No one in addiction treatment needs to have their situation advertised. The Nurses Lifeline program (and the Foundation as a whole) subscribes to the principle of confidentiality that has its basis in the well-known "Twelve Steps" that provide a structure for a better life in recovery.

We choose (and are bound legally) not to respond to any inquiry about any person as a patient, past or present. This includes the well-meaning calls ("How's Betty, everyone at work is asking about her?") – our position is "we cannot confirm or deny."

This principle of confidentiality even extends to supervisors or administrators who may have been involved in the admission or intervention. To assist an employer who is involved in a patient's case, specific arrangements are made, as may be appropriate.

We know there are loved ones and others with a sincere or legal interest in the patient. Because very few people can be successful in their recovery without the help of others, we emphasize helping everyone understand a patient's substance abuse and behaviors.

A patient can make phone calls after admission to let the family or others of their choosing know about their situation. More details are provided during the admission as to how families, friends and co-workers can be involved in (and informed about) the patient's treatment.

More about Support for the Family



A note for those with a loved one or friend in treatment: The process at Livengrin will provide education and motivation for the individual to adapt a program of recovery that will improve the quality of life. However, this process is very difficult. Often, after a short stay in treatment, patients will (for many reasons) consider leaving the program.

In such a case, the family's help here is vital. If the patient should contact you and ask to be picked up, please contact Livengrin at 1-800-245-4746 and ask for the patient's case manager.