#1
Just something I was thinking about.

Let's say you're seeing a therapist, by choice (you aren't required to for any reason). It can be just as a way to be evaluated, or personal problems, or any other reason; I can't really think of a specific one for this situation.

What happens if you confess to the therapist that you do drugs, and yet the therapist doesn't see it as a problem? Also, what drugs would have different reactions?

For example, I'd expect the reaction to marijuana to be different to the reaction to heroin....

Basically, what I'm getting at, is, by law, would they be required to report it, or to keep it confidential? Also, realistically, would they?

This is just something that came to mind, and I'm kind of curious, and I'm wondering if someone with knowledge on psychology, and it's rules as a profession, would know.
#2
Confidential, "patient doctor confidentially"
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Originally Posted by Guitarbaddie
Dude, she's like 12, what is wrong with you?



Originally Posted by RockGuitar92
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#3
Quote by herby190
Just something I was thinking about.

Let's say you're seeing a the rapist


Fixed.


I think therapists are supposed to keep it confidential. At least here in Cali.
#4
Quote by xMarkx
Confidential, "patient doctor confidentially"

This, they can't say anything to anyone.
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#6
Yeah, that's where I was kind of wondering; I know they have confidentiality, but I also know they have to report certain things, and I was kind of wondering which overpowers which in this case.
#7
In The Wackness the therapist smokes weed.
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#8
Quote by xMarkx
Confidential, "patient doctor confidentially"


this. they won't report you unless you are going to hurt yourself or someone else.
#9
I'm sure if you confessed to something like a murder or rape, they'd report it. But for drugs, I'd assume they might refer you to a doctor or something, as there would be no proof of your drug usage.
#10
It will never be reported without consent. If they do and you find out, LAWSUIT, for big $$$
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Originally Posted by Guitarbaddie
Dude, she's like 12, what is wrong with you?



Originally Posted by RockGuitar92
You're the one who came on her face.

#11
Your therapist is under an ethical obligation to keep everything you say within reason confidential. If you're in rehab for smoking crack, what would be the point of rehab if they turned you in to the cops for having crack? Also, your therapist is likely to be at least reasonably well-versed in the effects of different psychoactives, so his or her opinion on them will tailor his reaction to you about them, but there's no excuse for a therapist turning a client over to the authorities over that.

Now, say you've confided that you're thinking about killing somebody... Then the lines get hazier.

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#12
I think the only way the confidentiality thing doesn't apply is if you reveal that you intend to harm and/or murder somebody.

Otherwise, the therapist can't say a word.

Also, it's not exactly good therapy to be judgmental of one's patients, drugs or no drugs.
#13
must be kept secret unless it poses a direct and real threat to yourself or others. so say you admitted to weed or heroin, they wouldn't report it since doing that would only make it worse for you, but say you said you were dealing heroin to little kids..then yea, they'd tell the cops.
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#14
Quote by herby190
Yeah, that's where I was kind of wondering; I know they have confidentiality, but I also know they have to report certain things, and I was kind of wondering which overpowers which in this case.

I know that doctor's can use doctor patient confidentiality in court if they're a witness in a case like that.
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#15
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Also, it's not exactly good therapy to be judgmental of one's patients, drugs or no drugs.

This too. Universal positive regard for your clients.

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#17
unless it is a Violent Offense that makes you a serious threat to National Security, You are safe. If you are a major drug cartel or a serial killer and you say so, you will likely get locked up. Also if you are a minor, I believe they are allowed to tell your parents.

They will probably just note your drug useage. nothing more
#18
Quote by MakinLattes
confidentiality. they may tell their fellow therapeutic cohorts, though.

Uh..... maybe in the context of a consult, but for no other reason can I imagine justifying telling other therapists. (Unless you mean other people that are treating you.)

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#19
Quote by Haustinj
unless it is a Violent Offense that makes you a serious threat to National Security, You are safe. If you are a major drug cartel or a serial killer and you say so, you will likely get locked up. Also if you are a minor, I believe they are allowed to tell your parents.

They will probably just note your drug useage. nothing more
Actually, that's one of the other things I was going to ask; thanks for bringing it up.

What happens with their confidentiality laws when minors are involved?
#20
Quote by herby190
Actually, that's one of the other things I was going to ask; thanks for bringing it up.

What happens with their confidentiality laws when minors are involved?

That probably varies state to state, the same way that normal doctors' policies and laws do. In some places for example you can get a full physical and an abortion without your parents' knowledge, and in others you need their written consent.

Look into your area's stuff before you tell your therapist you're on pot if you're afraid of your parents finding out.

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#21
Quote by SteveHouse
Uh..... maybe in the context of a consult, but for no other reason can I imagine justifying telling other therapists. (Unless you mean other people that are treating you.)

I didn't mean they gossip about your problems with their coworkers. usually, they'll ask you if it's alright if they share whatever with another therapist. regardless, it can create an awkward situation.

also, there's nothing to stop them from telling their own therapist...
#22
Quote by SteveHouse
Look into your area's stuff before you tell your therapist you're on pot if you're afraid of your parents finding out.
Actually, as much as it seems like I'm hiding behind the whole "SWIM" thing, this actually is just hypothetical; the only time I've had a therapist was in elementary school, which didn't last long, because I refused to talk to him.
#23
Yeah I'm studying psychology to become a therapist/counselor. Basically their is the patient doctor confidentiality as has been stated, but if the authorities acquire a permit they have access to all record and any files on the patient that can lead to evidence in a case. Most therapist will have you have sign papers making you agree to this scenario, but most people just glance over them. The truth is no one really cares about drugs really, the main concern is child/spousal abuse, sexual/physical assault and to a lesser extent vandalism and petty theft. If the patient was expected of mass trafficking then perhaps, yes, I can see the authorities getting involved, but a lot of therapist deal with addicts who use hard drugs and the information is disclosed and well respected.

Edit: The therapist is also obliged to report any information which he/she has knowledge of the patient causing harm to themselves or others.
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#24
As I understand, you can't be prosecuted for having used drugs, only for drug possesion. Therefore in theory you could walk into a police station, tell them you've been using Heroin, and they can't do **** all unless your in possesion. So there should be no problem with a therapist reporting it, even if they did, which they shouldn't. But other crimes are a different matter, I'm not sure how far confidentiality streches if you have say, confessed to murder.
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