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Confidentiality

 Confidentiality and Rights & Responsibilities
Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services
Texas State University
Scheduling
For your first assessment with Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services (ADCS), you will need to make an appointment.  This appointment will help the coordinator determine how ADCS can best serve your needs.  This may include scheduling you for further appointments and/or making the appropriate referrals to groups or to outside sources.
Sessions are typically scheduled for 50 minutes.  Students who require special accommodations due to a disability should notify the ADCS 48 hours prior to their session.  Due to the heavy demand for services, we request that you cancel an appointment 24 hours in advance so that we may utilize the appointment slot.
Confidentiality & Records
Federal and state regulations require that you receive an explanation of your privacy rights and how the confidentiality of your information will be protected and maintained.  All aspects of your participation at Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services, including scheduling of appointments, content of sessions, all contents of assessment records, and outcomes of assessments, are confidential by federal and state law.  A confidential record of the assessments provided to you will be maintained by Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services, as required by state law.  Only the specific individual may have access to his or her file. 
No one other than the coordinator will have access to your information.  If the need arises to consult with an outside counselor, i.e. in the Counseling Center, your authorization will be required.  No support staff have access to your information.  No record of counseling or assessments are made on an academic transcript or job placement file.  Ownership of all physical records is retained by Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services.  At this time counseling records are retained for ten years after service is terminated.  No information may be released to anyone without your written permission, with the following exceptions.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
  • Texas law requires that counselors who learn of or have strong suspicions of child abuse or neglect report this information to Child Protective Services or to law enforcement personnel.  This pertains specifically to  knowledge of:  child abuse or neglect to a client who is under 18 years of age; any child under 18 years of age suspected of being at risk of abuse or neglect; or abuse or neglect by a client toward a person who is under 18 years of age.  Such disclosures in counseling of child abuse or neglect according to the criteria mentioned above will be reported by your counselor and are not protected by confidentiality.
  • Texas law required abuse or neglect of elderly or disabled persons to be reported to the proper authorities.
  • Texas law requires a counselor to report client abuse or sexual exploitation by a previous therapist to the appropriate county district attorney and licensing board.  Client anonymity will be preserved if requested.
  • A court-ordered subpoena can require the release of records kept at Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services or require a counselor to give testimony at a court hearing.
  • If a counselor assesses that you pose an imminent danger to yourself or others, the counselor is required to do what is necessary to protect life within the limits of the law.  Appropriate university officials and staff (e.g., University Police, Vice President for Student Affairs, Residence Hall Director, etc.) who bear responsibility or may incur liability for the welfare of Texas State students may be notified about the student’s situation.  Only university officials and staff who have a “need to know” to protect the safety of students will be given this information.
 
Rights and Responsibilities
Student Rights
In addition to confidentiality, clients of Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services have certain rights which include the right to:
  • inquire about the professional credentials and experience of the coordinator.
  • ask questions about any procedures used in your sessions, including the coordinator's usual techniques and philosophy.
  • refuse a particular treatment method or psychological testing.  If the coordinator feels that these are essential to your sessions, the issue must be resolved to your mutual satisfaction.
  • have any psychological test results interpreted and discussed with you.
  • ask the coordinator to discuss your progress and future assessment plans with you during any session.
  • discuss with the coordinator any concerns or dissatisfactions you have about your  experience.
  • request referral to an outside counselor or agency if you wish to obtain an additional opinion or believe you would work better with another person.  You need to discuss this with the coordinator if it is an issue with you.
  • terminate sessions at any time.  Termination is an important part of the process, and it will be helpful for you to discuss with the coordinator your reasons for terminating.
  • be treated with respect and consideration and to have the coordiantor convey this respect by keeping your appointments or letting you know ahead of time if a schedule change is necessary; by giving you her complete attention during sessions; and by providing you with the most effective assistance s/he can.
  • report a complaint to the Dean of Students Office if you believe the coordinator has violated your rights or has behaved unethically.
  • be informed about how your health information may be used and legally disclosed outside Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services.
  • be free of being the object of discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other protected categories while receiving services.
  • receive notice of authorized or legally required disclosure of your health information outside Alchol and Drug Compliance Services.
  • request restrictions on the use and disclosure of your health information that is used for providing services to you.
  • inspect your records in accord with Texas law, and to request an amendment to your record when you believe a record to be in error.
  • file a complaint if you believe your privacy, according to federal and state laws, has been violated.
Student Responsibilities
You also have certain responsibilities which include the responsibility of:
  • taking an active role in the assessment process by openly and honestly sharing your thoughts, feelings, and concerns, including your feelings about the session and coordinator.  It may also involve outside work such as completing therapeutic assignments or reflecting upon issues discussed during your last session.
  • keeping your appointments or calling in advance to cancel and/or reschedule an appointment.
  • maintaining the confidentiality of other students utilizing Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services.
Coordinator Rights/Responsibilities
The coordinator may exercise certain rights in the course of the assessment process. These include:
  • the right to seek consultation with other professionals regarding your case.
  • the right to terminate or refer to outside counselor or agency.  If the coordinator feels his/her services may not be appropriate for you, he/she may, after discussing these concerns with you, terminate sessions and/or refer you to a more appropriate individual or agency.
  • the right to expect your active involvement and cooperation in the assessment process.
  • the right to condition the provision of services on the student's willingness to consent to legal and appropriate disclosure of health information for the purpose of providing effective treatment.
  • the right to deny a requst for an assessment record amendment if the coordinator is not the originator of the information or if the information is accurate and complete.
  • the responsibility to uphold all student rights listed above.