Federal rules for protecting the confidentiality of substance abuse treatment records will get their first update in almost 30 years. A proposed rule from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration aims to realign regulations from 1987 with the healthcare system that exists today.

The confidentiality rules were developed in the mid-1980s to give individuals confidence to get substance abuse treatment without fearing disclosure of the treatment. Under the current rules, identifiable information can be released only with the affected individual’s consent.

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