Altus’ mission is to help save lives.
To accomplish this goal, we do more than provide you with the best treatment possible; we also help you protect your rights.
Addiction is a disease. The American Medical Association says so, the American Psychological Association says so and the federal government says so. As such, there are many legal protections in place for people in recovery. Please note that this list includes only the broad strokes and is no substitute for professional legal counsel.
The United States Constitution
The First Amendment protects your right to associate with other people in recovery against government infringement, so that you may strengthen and help each other through group therapy, communal living, peer support and the like.
The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause makes it unlawful for governments to discriminate against people in recovery in many instances.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, including people in recovery.
The ADA’s protections apply against employers, public entities, public accommodations and commercial facilities and telecommunications.
This means that, with respect to hiring and firing, employers cannot discriminate against people in recovery solely because they have an addiction. However, if a person’s addiction interferes with their job performance, the ADA does not prevent the employer from firing that person.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
The FHA prohibits discrimination in the selling or renting of real property on the basis of disability or familial status, among other things.
It is unlawful for people selling or renting real property, as well as the governments overseeing the regions in which those properties are located, to discriminate against communal sober living homes solely because the people living in those homes are in recovery and not a traditional family. The FHA does not exempt sober living homes from housing regulations that apply broadly, such as noise regulations, though it does make it illegal to use these regulations as a façade for discrimination.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA regulates the use and disclosure of medical information, including addiction status. HIPAA protects the privacy of people in recovery in a wide variety of instances.
It is unlawful for health insurance companies and many other entities or individuals to disclose the fact that a person suffers from addiction, regardless of whether the person is in recovery. HIPAA does not prevent these entities from disclosing this information when required to do so by law, such as when there is a court order.HIPAA Confidentiality Notice and Privacy Policies