Will A Drug Counselor Report Anything To The Police?

In a rehab facility, a counselor can reveal very personal information about clients. This creates a risk for the counselor to be charged with a crime for not revealing information that could have helped the police. The laws of the state also affect this issue of confidentiality because each state has different rules about what to do when someone reveals something during treatment. However, with that said, in most states, if the counselors reveal nothing they are not breaking any law and won’t face any legal consequences. In other states, there is no law that prevents them from revealing confidential information, but it’s simply not allowed by the drug rehab facilities’ policy. The laws that govern counseling in each state vary depending on specific requirements for confidentiality and whether or not a counselor can disclose certain information without consent. This article will help you understand this complex topic better by providing a broader explanation of confidentiality as well as discussing the different scenarios that would necessitate a breach of confidentiality

In general, it is totally up to each rehab facility to decide whether they want to inform the police about their clients. However, stipulations are usually made concerning confidentiality agreement and notification of what will happen if somebody is caught withholding important information from the authorities. Though they have the option of not telling the police about their clients’ illegal activities, some drug rehab facilities feel obliged to tell them in certain instances. Specifically, this is because the client is in danger of suicide or harm or has plans of endangering an innocent person. Confidentiality is only set aside if there is if a counselor or the drug rehab facility must speak up to deter some kind of impending crime that could endanger property or lives.

Deciding When to Report and When to Observe Confidentiality

There are many reasons why individuals in drug rehab facilities might want to share information with their therapist. The most common reason is that they need help to clear up all the things that make them feel guilty or ashamed to break free of their addiction to drugs or alcohol. They want to put an end to their emotional anguish by being honest and transparent. They might also feel pressure from other people, perhaps family members, to be honest, and forthcoming. There are also some limitations on what therapists can share with other professionals, such as their supervisor or someone else at the facility. There are many types of confidentiality that therapists and patients agree on, but there are some limitations as well. The most important limitation is when a therapist suspects child abuse and must report it, and when a therapist needs to communicate with law enforcement officials about a possible suicide or homicide. While drastic scenarios are very clear-cut, there can be confusion about what makes up criminal intent and what is merely an expression of anger. Another limitation on confidentiality occurs if the drug counselor believes that they can help the patient better by contacting the police, Sometimes, too, if the client reveals confidential information about another patient who is in harm’s way, then a drug counselor may decide that it is best to inform the police.

Unless there is an extreme circumstance, usually involving harm to the client or other people, drug counselors prefer to respect patient confidentiality. This is because there are many benefits of confidentiality in drug counseling. For starters, it is easier for patients to talk about their personal issues when they know that their details will not get out. Confidentiality is one of the most important healing factors in therapy, and it’s one of the most difficult aspects to balance in a treatment setting. Since there are many reasons why people may want to keep what they say or do private, such as privacy and dignity, boundaries, and autonomy, drug counselors respect the overriding importance of confidentiality when working with clients. Patients need to know that their information is safe with counselors, and counselors are most effective if they know the truth about the reasons why someone became addicted to drugs or alcohol.


Confidentiality is one of the core values in drug counseling. It is important to keep the information within the counseling session confidential, but there are certain situations when it might be necessary to share that information with the police. These circumstances usually involve instances when not disclosing information could result in some kind of harm to the patient or other people. Call us at 833-364-0736.