Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program.
–Alcoholics Anonymous, 12th edition
Today’s public and political climate has raised everyone’s awareness of the need for privacy and confidentiality in the area of healthcare. There are laws, regulations, guidelines for licensure, and accreditations that mandate all individuals seeking help be protected. The issue of confidentiality is particularly important when talking about addiction.
The reason for this, of course, is ignorance. Many individuals—those afflicted, those related to an addict, and even those required to care and treat addicts—do not believe excessive use and continued dependence upon substances is a disease. They think of addiction as a moral issue, a matter of integrity or intelligence, or a lack of faith in themselves or others. They consider it intentional and a matter of choice. If addiction were any of those things, then our country—our people—would not be suffering.