Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders
Cost and Privacy Issues

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If your parents are worried about the cost of treatment, ask them to read this guide designed for people who care for teens with substance use issues.

I'll talk to a doctor, but I am afraid they will tell my parents everything. Can I prevent that?

There are privacy laws that prevent your doctor from telling your parents everything. They can’t even tell law enforcement about your drug use, in case that worries you. But your parents might ask you to sign a permission form, so your doctor can discuss your issues with them. If you feel your parents are truly trying to help you, you should consider signing the form, because having accurate information will help them find the right care and treatment for you. For more information on how private medical information is protected by law, read the HHS information on Health Information Privacy (HIPAA).

There is one exception to this rule: Doctors can speak to parents and some officials if they think you are in danger of hurting yourself or others.

If you feel you are being abused by your parents or caretakers, you should discuss it with your doctor or contact a school counselor.  If you are being abused, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline for help at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).