Are Addiction Counselors Mandated Reporters?

Are Addiction Counselors Mandated Reporters?
Are addiction counselors mandated reporters?   

This is a common questionAnd, a very important one because asking this question might save your life. In this article, you'll learn about mandated reporting laws

The code of ethics governs addiction counseling.  And, more details about what addiction counseling is so that you understand it better. 

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What is a Mandated Reporter?

A mandated reporter is a person who is required by law to report something such as abuse or violations of the law.

The strictest mandated reporter laws pertain to the welfare and safety of children. 

In fact, the list of professionals who are mandated reporters for child abuse in all fifty states is long and includes, health care providers, school personnel, social workers, daycare employees, film developers, members of the clergy, and substance abuse counselors.

Yes, addiction counselors are mandated reporters of child abuse. 

Family life for children with one or both parents who abuse drugs or alcohol can often be chaotic and unpredictable.

Addiction is a risk factor for abuse in the home and so substance abuse counselors are required by law to report child abuse or dangers to a child's welfare. 

What is an Addiction Counselor?

However, abuse counselors are not mandated reporters for other illegal activity, such as drug use. 

In fact, counseling as a profession is protected by HIPPA laws which ensure confidentiality between patients and health care providers.

Your doctor isn't allowed to broadcast your health issues and an addiction counselor will not broadcast your drug use. 

This would be considered unethical. An addiction counselor is not a law enforcement officer and they're not here to trick you or catch you. 

An addiction counselor's job is to help you, not harm you. 

Addiction Counselors Do No Harm

Addiction counselors are trained to deal with addiction. 

Because addiction is hard to overcome and many addicts struggle emotionally and physically, it is a job that requires a significant amount of training and professionalism.

Your addiction counselor is a trained professional who has dedicated their lives to helping people with addiction like you. 

They cannot help you fully if you are not honest, so don't let concerns about being arrested prevent you from seeking the treatment you need. 

Addiction Counselors Code of Ethics

NAADAC is the National Association for Addiction Professionals. 

This professional organization has over 10,000 addiction specialists in the United States.

NAADAC has created a standard of practice for addiction counselors and a code of ethical practices for them to follow.

The Code of Ethics for Addiction Counselors includes 10 principles intended to guide ethical and beneficial treatment. 

One of these principles is "Maintain Strict Confidentiality." 

An addiction counselor has a professional duty to keep confidential any drug use, diagnoses, or treatment plans. 

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How Can Addiction Counseling Help?

If you're nervous about seeking addiction counseling, don't be. Your fear is natural. 

The best way to beat fear is to increase understanding.

Addiction counseling offers addicts a new perspective

So much of addiction is a cycle: a loop of wondering when you're going to use again, if you'll have enough, how you're going to pay for it, and back around again. 

In fact, addiction is like a feedback loop, creating brain wiring and behaviors to support itself. 

An important part of breaking out of the psychological loop of addiction is talking to an addiction counselor and hearing a new perspective.

Because your addiction counselor won't judge you and won't report you, it's okay to be totally honest. 

In fact, it's important if you're serious about healing from addiction. 

A counselor can teach you new approaches for dealing with the situations or emotions that make you use.

Most people begin abusing drugs or alcohol to cope with difficulties in their life. 

Then, the addiction becomes a crutch to deal with those difficulties and the problems that the addiction has created. 

An important part of addiction counseling is learning coping strategies. 

Coping strategies are methods for dealing with what makes you use, such as stress or grief.

Studies show that addiction counseling is an important factor in avoiding relapse. 

Addiction counseling gets you the support you need to overcome addiction. 

You'll also learn tools for repairing relationships that have been damaged by addiction.

This means you can lean on your counselor for support and focus on healing your other relationships. 

Counseling can also help you to learn how to build healthy new relationships since addicts are often surrounded by shady characters. 

These are critical steps for avoiding a relapse. 


Addiction counselors are not required to report you for drug or alcohol abuse. 

In fact, they have trained for many years to help addicts recover. 

Getting counseling is a critical step to quitting and avoiding relapse.

Are addiction counselors mandated reporters? 

Asking this question could have saved your life since now you know it's safe to talk to an addiction counselor. 

In fact, talking to an addiction counselor is the best step to taking back your life.

Counseling can help you overcome addiction and have a life you love again. There is hope. 

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March 30th, 2023

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