Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share resource explains new federal rule on substance abuse

April 21, 2017 A new resource on includes information on a federal rule that changed the confidentiality requirements for substance abuse patients.

According to the rule, information released by substance use disorder facilities that would identify a patient as having been diagnosed, treated, or referred for treatment for a substance use disorder cannot be re-disclosed unless the patient gives consent.

The rule, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, took effect March 21.

The rule imposes obligations on both substance use disorder facilities and on “other lawful holders” of patient identifying information, including dentists who receive patient identifying information from a substance use disorder facility. Violations can result in fines.

For more information, visit the resource by searching for “SAMHSA Final Rule on Confidentiality for Patients” on