Post # 1
If someone is a recovering drug addict or recovering alcholic or both, should he or she be forced to disclose it?
My knee jerk reaction was to say YES! It should be reported because no one is ever cured. And then I got to that word – cured. Addiction is considered as a disease. It’s treated a disease. And, since PHI is protected, this falls into the same category. And, since they are nevery fully rid of the disease, they will always struggle with the cravingsand the stigma from those who know.
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t matter and people would be judged on their own strenghts and weaknesses, but we’re anything but perfect.
I know recovering addicts who have been clean for 20+ years and are successful in very stressful jobs. I know others who can’t seem to stay on the wagon more than a few weeks. Do you penalize all for the actions of some?
I don’t know and am curious to see the why’s and why not’.
Post # 2
I don’t think so, diseases are classified as medical concerns and are covered by the HIPAA laws.
However, if someone has a criminal record due to their having an addiction then the answer is yes, it should be disclosed, in fact, legally a criminal record has to be disclosed when applying for employment. For example, if your drug habit caused you to rob a store or break into homes, or if you have a drunk driving record (DUI or DWI) then it should be disclosed.
Question: Are you only talking about applying for jobs, or in personal relationships?
Post # 3
bywater : Disclosed to who?
Post # 4
“It should be reported because no one is ever cured.”
No, it is none of your business. Do you also think someone should have to disclose they have cancer or anxiety for example?
Also “no one is ever cured” is a bold statement not based on facts. Addiction is like any mental illness, it affects different people to differing degrees. Some people will struggle for decades and some people can get over it and never look back only a few years later.
Post # 5
Daisy_Mae : Prospective employers, prospective instututes of higher learning, etc.
Post # 6
Sunfire : Jobs / education only.
If you’re looking at a serious personal relationship, it would be critical in moving forward.
Post # 7
I lean toward no. I think in fields where the work is literally a matter of life and death, like with medical careers, maybe there should be periodic drug tests (if there aren’t already), but I don’t think anyone should be forced to disclose this type of thing. Unless of course they have a criminal history that’s related to it – but then that type of thing has to be disclosed anyway.
Post # 8
No. It’s hard enough for recovering addicts to get shit together, why make things harder and introduce a whole new reason for them to be prejudged?
Post # 9
bywater : I agree completely!
Post # 10
No, it’s none of their business. Only worthy people get to hear that person’s story/testimony. And the recovering addict/alcoholic should be the only decision-maker on who receives the gift of hearing what has shaped them to be the wonderful/strong/resilient/wise person that they are today. Your story is a gift. You don’t just give it to everyone, only people that will appreciate it.
Post # 11
bywater : Definitely not. Apart from the fact that it would make it almost impossible for recovering addicts to get a job, where do you draw the line? I used to be a smoker – should I tell my employee since I have a higher chance of illness? What about other addictions ie. video gaming?
If someone is still active within their addiction or they relapse bad enough, it will impact their work performance. They can then be terminated or disciplined accordingly, same as anyone else. What demons they battle in their personal life are their own. If it could potentially be dangerous (for example a truck driver) they usually get periodic drug testing anyway.
In a personal relationship however, I believe it is incredibly important to disclose ASAP, preferably before the “exclusivity” talk, definitely before any financial committement to each other (ie. moving in together)
Post # 12
Hmm, I missed the thread that this thread spun off from.
But, no. There’s a reason a person does not have to disclose those things now, and that is because they may have absolutely no impact on their ability to perform a job. Indeed, a person must pay for higher education, so their potential relapse affects almost no one except themselves (except for a person whose slot they may have taken). People with criminal histories have terrible trouble getting past the stigma, and a person’s health information is private for a reason. It should be kept that way.
Post # 13
No, and for the same reasons you got to. It’s a disease, and it’s completely inethical to require prospective employees to report medical conditions.
Post # 14
bywater : disclose it to whom? An employer? No. A romantic partner? Yes – but I’d also think that if you have cancer you should disclose that to your romantic partner as well. At what point in a relationship you broach this is tricky, of course. But i do think it’s something that needs to be discussed.
Post # 15
No, I don’t think employers or educational institutes should have access to that kind of information. People who are recovering don’t need that stigma to weigh them down.
But I think it’s a healthy thing to disclose in a relationship, because being able to trust and support one another is a huge part of a healthy relationship in my opinion.