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Competency 6: Legal Issues

Legal Issues Related to Women Who Drink During Pregnancy, Continued

Confidentiality Issues

Laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), may affect activities such as reporting of alcohol use during pregnancy. HIPAA has certain requirements regarding privacy and sharing of client information and records. Confidentiality laws vary by State and may affect the addiction professional’s ability to share information with various social, health, and legal systems such as child welfare agencies.

It is essential to be familiar with confidentiality laws in one’s State and to consult with an attorney if necessary. Inappropriate reporting of current or previous alcohol use during pregnancy can jeopardize long-term recovery and may harm the addiction professional’s career.

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