This document is intended to inform drug court practitioners about confidentiality laws and their impact on drug court practices. The authors include information on how to navigate these laws to fulfill the goals of drug court programs.
This paper addresses the impact that federal confidentiality laws and professional ethical standards have on drug court practitioners. The paper outlines the laws and standards that impact collaboration between stakeholders who work with individuals enrolled in drug court programs and proposes practical solutions for furthering the goals of drug court programs while complying with the laws. For example, the authors suggest using informed consent and developing Memorandums of Understanding that define the purpose and scope of information sharing. The appendices offer a number of templates, including sample consents and inter-agency agreements, that can be modified by practitioners who want to engage in similar collaborations that require the exchange of substance use treatment and diagnosis information.