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This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

Cover of The Tuberculosis Epidemic

The Tuberculosis Epidemic

Legal and Ethical Issues for Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Providers

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 18


Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); .
Report No.: (SMA) 95-3047

The purpose of this TIP is to give practical ethical and legal advice to alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment providers about cooperating with public health officials and others in preventing the transmission of tuberculosis (TB) in AOD treatment facilities. Given that not all AOD programs are alike -- physically, demographically, or in terms of the services they provide -- and given that the risk of TB varies from one program to the next, it is not assumed that everything in this document will be relevant or useful for all treatment providers. Nevertheless, to the extent that all AOD providers have an interest in stemming the spread of TB in their facilities, and to the extent that all AOD providers operate under similar ethical and legal obligations, it is hoped that this document will 1) illuminate some of the more important issues raised by the threat of TB in the AOD setting; promote collaboration between AOD treatment providers and others in the fight against TB; and 3) lead to a safer AOD work place. Toward that end, this TIP will set forth basic information about tuberculosis, explain how AOD treatment providers and others can collaborate without violating Federal laws regarding the confidentiality of alcohol and other drug abuse treatment records, outline the TB-related services required of most substance abuse treatment providers, and discuss steps that substance abuse treatment providers can take to promote safety in the workplace. In keeping with the demanding ethics of the substance abuse treatment field, this document attempts to tell the reader not just what must be done, but what should be done.


This publication is part of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant technical assistance program. This publication was written under contract number ADM 270-92-0006 from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Duiona R Baker, MPH, and David L Griffith, MEd, MS, RN, served as the CSAT Government project officers.

The opinions expressed herein are the views of the consensus panel members and do not reflect the official position of CSAT or any other part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). No official support or endorsement of CSAT or DHHS for these opinions or for particular instruments of software that may be described in this document is intended or should be inferred. The guidelines proffered in this document should not be considered as substitutes for individualized patient care and treatment decisions.

Bookshelf ID: NBK64541PMID: 22514823


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