Legal and Ethical Considerations in Addictions

Week 2: Legal and Ethical Considerations in AddictionsYour client, Simon, who is a surgeon, confides in you about his cocaine addiction. You are certain that Simon is abusing drugs at the same time he is performing surgical procedures on patients.What should you do?Should you take steps to protect Simon’s patients, or would that be a violation of confidentiality?Where does the ethical line fall for addiction professionals and what legal requirements are in place?This week, you explore the laws created to protect those with substance abuse disorders and examine how these laws may influence the work of addiction professionals. In addition, you investigate the need for special protections under the law for professionals working in addictions.Learning ObjectivesStudents will:Analyze anti-discrimination laws related to addictionsAnalyze influence of anti-discrimination laws on addiction professionalsAnalyze laws related to duty to warn and protectAnalyze need for special protections under the law for addiction professionalsLearning ResourcesRequired ReadingsLambert, S. F. (2011). Ethical and legal issues in addictions outcome research. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 2(1), 25–36.Courtwright, D. T. (2012). Addiction and the science of history. Addiction, 107(3), 486–492.Robinson, S. M. (2017). “Alcoholic” or “Person with alcohol use disorder”? Applying person-first diagnostic terminology in the clinical domain. Substance Abuse, 38(1), 9-14.Discussion 1: Anti-Discrimination Law and Laws Protecting Individuals With AddictionThere are very specific laws and advocacy efforts to protect individuals with addictions. Only in the past thirty years have people with addictions had legal protection from discrimination (Lawinfo, 2009). Anti-discrimination laws exist to provide people struggling with addiction the opportunity to receive treatment without suffering punitive actions. These include:Affordable Care AcAmerican with Disabilitites ActChildren’s Health ActGarrett Lee Smith Memorial ActMental Health Parity and Addiction Equity ActSober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking ActTrial Law and Order Act (TLOA)For this Discussion, research the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and one other act listed above in theWalden Library and reputable Internet sources. Consider how you might respond to the scenario provided utilizing the two acts.ScenarioImagine being at work, when suddenly, a colleague walks in visibly intoxicated. She is being loud, slurring her words, and bumping into people. Realizing that she is disturbing her co-workers, the intoxicated employee walks into the human resources department and tells them she is addicted to alcohol and needs treatment.By Day 3Post a brief description of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and one other act you chose for this discussion as it relates to addictions. Explain how you might respond to the scenario provided utilizing the two acts. Identify the rights the employee has in this situation. Explain how the laws you discuss protect the employee who violated the company’s policy on drunkenness. Explain why such laws might be important.

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