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F.S.A. § 397.501

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“Rights of individuals seeking substance abuse services under the public health law”

Classifies substance abuse records and information maintained by substance abuse treatment facilities as confidential in accordance with Florida law and federal confidentiality regulations (i.e. 42 C.F.R. Part 2).

Individuals receiving substance abuse treatment from any provider are entitled to the following rights:

  • The dignity of the individual must be respected at all times, which may include not being incarcerated unless he is charged with a crime and not being deprived of any constitutional right.
  • Substance abuse treatment may not be withheld solely on the basis of the individual’s race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, HIV status, prior service departures against medical advice, disability, number of relapse episodes, need for prescription medication, or inability to pay. 
  • Each individual must be delivered services suited to his or her needs.
  • Each individual has the right to communicate freely and privately with other people.
  • Each individual has the right to possess clothing and other personal items.
  • Each minor who is receiving treatment is guaranteed education and training appropriate to his or her needs.
  • The records of service providers are confidential and may not be disclosed without the written consent of the individual to whom they pertain. Records may be disclosed without such consent to: medical personnel in a medical emergency; to service provider personnel if such personnel need to know the information in order to treat the individual; the Department of Health for scientific research; persons who are performing an evaluation; or upon court order. 

Service provider personnel who violate this statute are liable for damages as determined by law.

Related laws:

Florida Statutes § 119.07

Florida Statutes § 400.494

Current as of June 2019