This 3 hours ethics continuing education course is designed to meet the license renewal requirements for Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors (LCDC) in the state of Texas. It is based upon three publications, one developed by the American Psychological Association (APA), the other two developed by SAMHSA.
The first source utilized in this course is based on an article published on the APA – American Psychological Association, website about ethics for psychologists and other healthcare professionals. It is a short summary of the frequent ethical problems that are encountered by practicing psychologists and therapists, as well as other healthcare professionals, with guidelines for avoiding problems. It is full of practical tips on how to avoid common ethical dilemmas.
The other two documents that are used in this course are publications by SAMHSA and are available at the National Library of Medicine. They are both about the legal and ethical issues that arise when conducting assessments and when treating clients in substance abuse settings. The second article focuses on these issues in adolescents and the third article focuses on older adults.
The second article begins with an “overview of the Federal law protecting a youth’s right to privacy when seeking or receiving treatment services for substance use disorders. Next is a detailed discussion of the rules regarding the use of consent forms to get a youth’s permission to release information about his seeking or receiving substance use disorder services. [The article then] reviews the rules for communicating with others about various issues concerning a youth who is involved with treatment services (including rules for communicating with parents, guardians, and other sources; reporting child abuse; warning others of an adolescent’s threats to harm; and special rules for use within the juvenile justice system). The [article also] discusses a number of exceptions to the general rules preventing disclosure of information, such as medical emergencies. The [article] ends with a few additional points concerning a youth’s right to confidential services and the need for programs to obtain legal assistance.”
In the third article, the authors state “Screening any population for substance abuse raises key legal and ethical concerns: how one can inquire about an individual’s alcohol and drug use while continuing to respect that person’s autonomy and privacy. Screening of older adults for substance abuse brings these concerns into particularly sharp focus . . . This paper] examines how the issues of autonomy and privacy (or confidentiality) affect the way providers working with older adults may screen for substance use problems. [It] discusses the relationship between patient or client autonomy and the provider’s obligation to inform and counsel the older individual about the health risks of alcohol or other drug use [as well as] privacy of information about substance use problems.” The paper specifically addresses “How a provider can keep accurate records and communicate with others concerned about the older individual’s welfare without disclosing information . . .” inappropriately.
This course serves as an excellent resource for mental health professionals who would like to build or refresh their knowledge about legal and ethical issues in assessment and screening. For licensed professionals who are required to complete continuing education in law and ethics, this course provides insight into a specialized area of practice and may be a refreshing change from other courses in the area a legal and ethical issues.
This course contains content regarding federal law, including 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2. “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records” are contained in 42 CFR Part 2 (Vol. 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 2). This content is specifically required for license renewal for substance abuse counselors, social workers and other counselors in a number of states.
Chemical dependency counselors, substance abuse counselors, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists can benefit from this course. This course may also be helpful for other practitioners, such as midwives and dieticians and nutritionists who also need continuing education in the area of ethics and who need to practice the principle of confidentiality. Most states that require continuing education courses for licensed professionals require ethcis courses. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to learn about ethics, confidentiality and legal issues.
The publication is written in simple, easy to read terms, that provide enough detail to help a licensed chemical dependency counselor (LCDC) or other mental health professional increase their knowledge of ethics, confidentiality and how to avoid ethical problems. It was specifically designed to meet license renewal requirements for LCDCs in Texas, however it is equally appropriate for other counselors, social workers, psychologists and substance abuse specialists.
This continuing education course serves as an excellent resource for licensed chemical dependency counselors, licensed clinical social workers, licensed psychologists, interns, licensed chemical dependency counselors, and other licensed therapists who require continuing education in ethics and must follow rules of confidentially in their practice.
Nurses who need continuing education related to mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment can also benefit from this course. This continuing education course may also be helpful for other practitioners, such as midwives and dieticians and nutritionists who also work with clients who have a chemical dependency issues or who require mental health treatment.
This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to learn more about ethics, confidentiality and legal issues related to substance abuse treatment, mental health and professional counseling.
Authors: The Surgeon General’s Office of the United States and the American Psychological Association (APA) and SAMHSA
Objectives: This course will provide a chemical dependency counselor or therapist with information regarding ethics is substance abuse treatment. This course covers ethics and legal issues in mental health. Specifically, a professional will:
· Recognize the most common ethical problems currently facing practicing therapists and healthcare professionals
· Identify federal law that pertains to communication and disclosure in substance abuse assessment and treatment.
· Describe specific strategies for disclosure for referrals, questions of capacity and 3rd party payers.
Citation: Smith, D. (2003). 10 Ways Practitioners Can Avoid Frequent Ethical Pitfalls. Boost Your Ethical Know-How with These Practical Tips on Avoiding Common Ethical Quandaries. Volume 34, No 1, APA On-Line; AHCPR Archived reports, Put Prevention Into Practice and Minnesota Health Technology Advisory Committee SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocols 31. TIP 31: Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders; Chapter 4 –Legal Issues in the Screening And Assessment of Adolescents by Margaret K. Brooks, Esq. and AHCPR Archived reports, Put Prevention Into Practice and Minnesota Health Technology Advisory Committee SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocols 26 . TIP 26: Substance Abuse Among Older Adults – Appendix A – Legal and Ethical Issues by Margaret K. Brooks, Esq. Reviewed by TM DiDona, PhD 2018 and found to be current. For a full list of current references, please Click Here
This 3 hour ethics course may meet your state requirements for license renewal.
Ohio Professionals – This course is NOT accepted for license renewal by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapy board.