At the turn of the century, many drugs were declared illegal as a temperance climate gripped the nation. In 1914, Congress passed the Harrison Act, which banned opiates and cocaine. Alcohol prohibition soon followed, and by 1918 the United States was officially a „dry“ nation. However, this did not mean the end of drug use. This meant that all of a sudden, people were arrested and imprisoned for doing what they had done before without government interference. Prohibition also meant the creation of a criminal-run black market marked by violence. As discussed in the first part of this chapter, the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA generally protect people in addiction treatment when they use professional or educational services from a provider that falls under either law. Nevertheless, communication with a professional training program must respect federal confidentiality rules. For example, if a program refers a client to a professional program by making an appointment for them, it should ask the client to sign a consent form. Figure 7-4 shows the different ways in which a transfer can be managed. Since GHB and flunitrazepam can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, confusion and memory loss, the risk of sexual misconduct or sexual assault is associated with the use of these drugs.

Information about individuals seeking or receiving drug abuse prevention, testing, assessment, or treatment services is subject to federal law and regulations that ensure confidentiality (42 U.S.C. §290dd-2; 42 CFR, Part 2). State laws also protect information about the health or mental health status or treatment of individuals, as well as information about certain medical conditions, and may restrict the disclosure of information about substance abuse. 9 However, federal law is generally more restrictive than the law of the Länder. Federal law extends less restrictive state laws, but does not preclude the enforcement of more restrictive state laws. Would drugs be more available once prohibition is lifted? It is hard to imagine that drugs are more available than they are today. Despite efforts to stem their flow, drugs are accessible to anyone who wants them. In a recent government-sponsored survey of high school students, 55 percent said it would be „easy“ for them to get hold of cocaine, and 85 percent said it would be „easy“ for them to get marijuana. Access to drugs is particularly easy in our inner cities, and the risk of arrest has been shown to have a negligible deterrent effect. What would change with decriminalization is not so much the availability of drugs as the conditions under which drugs would be available. Without prohibition, it would be easier to help addicts who want to quit their habits, because the money currently wasted on law enforcement could be used for preventive social programs and treatment.

The best evidence of the failure of prohibition is the government`s current war on drugs. Instead of implementing a strategy of prevention, research, education and social programs aimed at solving problems such as persistent poverty, long-term unemployment and the deteriorating living conditions in our inner cities, this war has used a law enforcement strategy. As this military approach continues to devour billions of taxpayers` money and land tens of thousands of people in prison, illicit drug trafficking thrives, violence escalates, and drug abuse continues to weaken lives. Added to this is the largely uncontrolled spread of the AIDS virus among drug addicts, their sexual partners and offspring. While it is impossible to predict exactly how drug use patterns would change in a regulated manufacturing and distribution system, the iron rules of prohibition are that 1) illicit markets are controlled by producers, not consumers, and 2) prohibition encourages the sale and use of stronger and more dangerous forms of drugs. Another federal law, the Drug-Free Workplace Act (41 U.S.C. §701 et seq.), can also affect recovering customers. The law requires employers who receive federal grant funding (including block grants or claims grant programs) or who have federal contracts to certify that they provide a drug-free workplace. Certification means employers affected The old adage „prevention is better than cure“ applies particularly to the area of discrimination in the workplace. It is always easier to convince an employer to hire a candidate before they have made the decision to turn them down. In a variety of ways, counsellors for people in substance abuse treatment can help hard-to-employ clients improve their employment chances.

Advisors should be willing to assist clients in the following tasks, either directly or through referrals. The following federal regulations impose restrictions on the disclosure and use of medical records related to substance abuse treatment, which are maintained by federal programs: Rural SUD treatment programs may also work with local law enforcement agencies to assist people who may be abusing substances.