Client Intake for Substance Abuse Counselling Program

The trusting relationship between the client and the counselor is based on honesty and descriptive consent. A person’s attendance and all communications between a patient and a service provider are confidential and are not released without the person’s signed consent. Authorization forms about release information should be available for this purpose. The implementing federal regulations on confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records are contained in 42 Code of Federal Regulations (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). Intake is the administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a program (Herdman, 2018, p. 29). This process often follows the initial screening, which will eliminate the people who do not fit in the description of an abuser.

An individual’s records are kept separately from a person’s medical and counseling data. The material should be held in a secure and confidential location. Important knowledge which should be present in the consent includes the purpose of sharing the record which will be revealed. The client also must be shown the cases where he or she can withdraw the agreement and the validity date of the consent form. I also must suggest a HIPPA notice to a client where the amount and kind of data which will be shared (Herdman, 2018, p. 32). The nondisclosure document must contain a date or situation upon which it can be revoked.

Moreover, I need to ensure that clients understand the implications of treatment, any applied charges, record-keeping, and nondisclosure limits. Health plans and covered healthcare providers are required to develop and distribute a notice which gives a clear explanation of these rights and practices. I need to use clear and understandable language to inform the newcomer about the collected fees, better alternatives, the right to revoke consent, and the expiration date of the confidentiality.

Any agreement signed with the client must be characterized by a written documentation where the shared information is secured by the legislature. Regulations severely restrict the discussions about identifiable individuals by counselors. The data regarding substance use diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment must not be shared unless there are specific guidelines from authorities (Herdman, 2018, p. 33). In order to keep with professional standards, medical personnel and counselors at the advising center are required to give thorough explanations to coordinate care and to provide best practices. These consultations can be only for professional and training purposes.

The policies allow the exposure of information without the patient’s consent in several cases, including when there is a risk to the client’s health. It is also possible in closed discussions between program personnel. When there is potential harm to the abuser or other people, the counselor can disclose the record. However, in a situation where the client officially agrees to the information revelation, the data can be shared regardless of the mention scenarios (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2017). The requirement set by the guidelines are specific, and it is crucial to follow them carefully.

As a result, the consent provides a right to adequate notice of how an advising program may use and disclose protected information about the patient’s condition and his or her screening results. The client’s rights and the service provider’s obligations should also be covered in the acceptance form. All the mentioned details must be provided to the individuals when they come to apply for our program.


Herdman, J. W. (2018). Global criteria: The 12 core functions of the substance abuse counselor (6th ed.). Lincoln.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records. Final Register. Web.

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