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Complete Overview of Regulations: 42 CFR Part 2
Part 2 Restrictions: Other Requirements


c.) Other Requirements

The restrictions on disclosure and use apply in all circumstances, whether or not the holder of the information believes (or knows) that the entity seeking the information:39

  • Already has it;
  • Has other means of obtaining it;
  • Is a law enforcement or other official;
  • Has obtained a subpoena; or
  • Asserts any other justification for a disclosure or use that is not permitted by these regulations.
  1. Acknowledging the presence of a patient

If an entity is publicly identified as a place where only substance abuse services are provided, the fact that a patient is present at the entity may only be acknowledged if the patient consents in writing or an authorizing court order has been entered.40 If an entity is not publicly identified as a place where only substance abuse services are provided, the fact that a patient is present at the entity may be acknowledged, as long as such acknowledgement does not reveal that the patient is a substance abuser.

  1. Patient Identification

A patient may not be required to carry anything that would identify him/her as a substance abuser when off program premises, but may be required to use or carry such identification on program premises.41

  1. Physical Security of Records

When not in use, written records covered by Part 2 regulations must be maintained in a secure room, locked file cabinet, safe, or other similar container.42 Programs must have written procedures regulating access to and use of such records.43

  1. Program Discontinuation or Acquisition

When a program closes or is taken over/acquired by another program, it must purge patient identifying information from its records or destroy those records unless:

  • The patient gives written consent to transfer his/her records to another program.44 The manner of obtaining such consent must minimize the likelihood that patient identifying information will be disclosed to a third party; or
  • There is a legal requirement that the records be kept for a specified period beyond the actual date the program closes or is acquired.45 In this case, the records must be placed in sealed envelopes or containers and labeled with the following statement: “Records of [program name] required to be maintained under [relevant legal authority] until a date not later than [appropriate date].”46 The records remain subject to Part 2 regulations and must be held by a responsible person and destroyed as soon as possible after the retention period ends.47
  1. Relationship to State Law

If a state law prohibits a disclosure or use that is permitted by the Part 2 regulations, the state law’s stricter requirements apply.48 No state law may authorize or compel a disclosure that is prohibited by Part 2.



  • 39. 42 CFR § 2.13(b).
  • 40. 42 CFR § 2.13(c)(1).
  • 41. 42 CFR § 2.18.
  • 42. 42 CFR § 2.16(a).
  • 43. 42 CFR § 2.16(b).
  • 44. 42 CFR § 2.19(a)(1).
  • 45. 42 CFR § 2.19(a)(2).
  • 46. 42 CFR § 2.19(b)(1).
  • 47. 42 CFR § 2.19(b)(2).
  • 48. 42 CFR § 2.20.