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Client Rights

When you receive services in a substance abuse program, your rights are protected by the law; Code of Federal Regulations, chapter 20-4-9 and Department of Human Resources in chapter 290-4-12-7.  Below is a simplified outline of those rights.  Your rights are also protected by state regulations. These are also included at the end and some may overlap the federal regulations. The rules and regulations describe any limitations to these rights and other provisions, which may apply and should be consulted when there is a question regarding your rights.  Your rights include:


  1. To be treated with dignity and respect,

  2. To be free from:

    1. Abuse,

    2. Neglect,

    3. Exploitation,

    4. Restraint or seclusion, of any form, used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation,

  3. To a safe, sanitary, and humane physical environment that:

    1. Provides privacy, and

    2. Promotes dignity,

  4. To receive treatment services free of discrimination based on the client’s race, religion, ethnic origin, age, disabling or a medical condition, and ability to pay for the services,

  5. To privacy in treatment, including the right not to be fingerprinted, photographed, or recorded without consent, except for:

    1. Photographing for identification and administrative purposes, or

    2. Video recordings used for security purposes that are maintained only on a temporary basis,

  6. To receive assistance from a family member, designated representative, or other individual in understanding, protecting, or exercising the client's rights,

  7. To confidential, uncensored, private communication that includes letters, telephone calls, and personal visits with:

    1. An attorney,

    2. Personal physician,

    3. Clergy,

    4. Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Staff, or

    5. Other individuals unless restriction of such communication is clinically indicated and is documented in the client record,

  8. To practice individual religious beliefs including the opportunity for religious worship and fellowship as outlined in program policy,

  9. To be free from coercion in engaging in or refraining from individual religious or spiritual activity, practice, or belief,

  10. To receive an individualized treatment plan that includes the following:

    1. Client participation in the development of the plan,

    2. Periodic review and revision of the client’s written treatment plan,

  11. To refuse treatment or withdraw consent to treatment unless such treatment is ordered by a court or is necessary to save the client’s life or physical health,

  12. To receive a referral to another program if the licensee is unable to provide a treatment service that the client requests or that is indicated in the client’s assessment or treatment plan,

  13. To have the client’s information and records kept confidential and released according to state and federal guidelines,

  14. To be treated in the least restrictive environment consistent with the client’s clinical condition and legal status,

  15. To consent in writing, refuse to consent, or withdraw written consent to participate in research, experimentation, or a clinical trial that is not a professionally recognized treatment without affecting the services available to the client,

  16. To exercise the Metro’s grievance procedures,

  17. To receive a response to a grievance in a timely and impartial manner,

  18. To be free from retaliation for submitting a grievance to a licensee, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, or another entity,

  19. To receive one’s own information regarding:

    1. Medical and psychiatric conditions,

    2. Prescribed medications including the risks, benefits, and side effects,

    3. Whether medication compliance is a condition of treatment, and

    4. Discharge plans for medications,

  20. To obtain a copy of the client’s clinical record at the client’s own expense,

  21. To be informed at the time of admission and before receiving treatment services, except for a treatment service provided to a client experiencing a crisis situation, of the:

    1. Fees the client is required to pay, and

    2. Refund policies and procedures, and

  22. To receive treatment recommendations and referrals, if applicable, when the client is to be discharged or transferred


NOTE:  Privileges, unlike patient rights, can be lost through violation of program rules or a failure to demonstrate progress in treatment.

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