First Responder Addiction Treatment

Confidentiality in Treatment

For patients, families and friends


We (and all of the medical field) understand that addiction is a disease requiring professional care. Unfortunately, there remains in society a great deal of stigma about addiction. Not only does the dependency damage a person's 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 courage is a byword of daily life.

The last thing someone in addiction treatment needs is to have their situation advertised. The FRAT program (and Livengrin 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.

Here's what you can expect: 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 Jack, the guys at the firehouse are asking about him?") – our position is "we cannot comment."

When it's a first responder coming into treatment, this principle of confidentiality even extends to partners, supervisors or administrators who may be involved in the admission or intervention. Arrangements are made, as may be appropriate, to assist an employer who is involved in a patient's case.

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.

Chemical dependency doesn't affect just the individual – there are loved ones and others with a sincere or legal interest in the patient. And very few people can be successful in their recovery without the help of others. Through its family and other education services, we place great emphasis on helping everyone understand a patient's substance abuse and behaviors, and to show how others can take part in the patient's recovery.

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.

More about Support for the Family