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Does Going to Detox or Rehab Go on Your Record?

One common question about seeking help for alcohol use disorder that many people have is: “Does going to detox go on your record?” To answer that question, you need to remember that seeking treatment for alcohol addiction is considered a medical treatment. 

As such, treatment facilities are bound by all sorts of privacy laws. So, they cannot share information about your treatment with others. In addition, many programs stress the importance of anonymity, like Alcoholics Anonymous. Anonymity is often an essential part of what motivates someone struggling with alcohol misuse to seek help. 

How Can Detox or Rehab Show on My Record?

Yet, when it comes to legal matters and your criminal record, things are entirely different when asking, “Does going to detox go on your record?” 

  • According to MADD, more than 300,000 people drive drunk every day. However, only about 3,200 are arrested.1
  • Furthermore, 12.6 million people reported driving under the influence of alcohol or other illicit drugs in 2018.2 
  • In 2016, there were more than 1 million arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance.3
  • 29 people die every day in a car crash that involves a driver operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.3

Suppose you get into trouble with the law and are convicted or take a plea deal for driving under the influence, a possession charge, or some other alcohol and drug-related criminal offense. Then your substance abuse can show on your criminal record.  

However, if you have not been in trouble with the law, you need to seriously consider seeking help. The more you continue to misuse alcohol, the more likely you will eventually be caught and charged with a crime that could end up on your permanent record. 

Does Going to Detox or Rehab Go on My Record?

If you elect to go to detox or rehab on your own and have not been arrested and charged with a crime, then no, your time in detox or rehab will not be on your record. Although, you can inform anyone you want if you want them to know you are getting help. Or you can seek help without telling anyone. 

Drug Rehab Privacy Laws

There are federal laws that protect your privacy, like HIPAA. HIPAA prevents the release of your treatment information to others without your prior consent. Facilities cannot even tell your loved ones or employer whether you are in detox or rehab unless your sign release forms for each person.

Furthermore, the facility can only share the information you have authorized. For example, you may sign a release to let your spouse know you are in detox but decline to allow the facility to share any other information with them about your treatment. So, the only thing the facility can tell your spouse is you are in detox, nothing else.

What If Detox or Rehab Is Part of Alternative Sentencing?

Many jurisdictions have realized the importance of detox and rehab for people who have been charged with alcohol and drug-related offenses. As such, many courts are now offering alternative sentencing options that involve going to detox or rehab instead of going to jail. 

Whether the offense goes on your criminal record will depend on the conditions of your case. For example, some jurisdictions may suspend or dismiss your charges after completing your detox or rehab. In these cases, the criminal offense does not appear on your record. 

Can I Lose My Job for Going to Detox or Rehab?

There are federal laws in place that prevent employers from firing employees who go to detox or rehab, such as the ADA. Additionally, many employers now recognize substance use disorders are medical conditions. 

As a result, these employers offer employee assistance programs, health benefits that include coverage for detox and rehab, and specific protections for someone who needs to take a leave of absence to go to detox or rehab

Even if you do not want to tell your employer, you can qualify for up to 12 weeks of leave for medical reasons under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). All you have to do is request leave for medical reasons from your employer. 

You do not have to give them any further explanation beyond that, and they must allow you to take time off and return to your job at the end of the leave without any consequences. 

Starting Detox for Alcohol Addiction in Nashville, TN

When you are ready to seek help for your alcohol use disorder, detox and rehab for alcohol addiction are available at Detox Nashville. We are happy to work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. 

Additionally, your detox and rehab treatment can be kept confidential from anyone you desire. We cannot divulge any information unless you give us express permission. Then, we can only release the information you authorized.  

For further information about our alcohol detox and addiction treatment programs in Nashville, please feel free to contact our admissions team to speak with an intake specialist today!

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