Does Rehab Go on Your Permanent Record? - ARISE Treatment

Drug and alcohol addiction can harm your mental and physical health, damage your relationships, keep you from functioning, and have other destructive impacts on your life. People living with addiction need comprehensive, non-judgmental care that allows them to overcome the complex roots of their substance abuse and learn how to avoid relapse for life.

But many people wonder about how seeking addiction treatment will impact the rest of their lives. Some wonder if going to rehab will appear on their permanent record, allowing others access to private details of their substance abuse history.

This article will examine your rights when seeking addiction treatment and answer the question of whether or not going to rehab will appear on your permanent record. Reach out to the Arise Treatment Center specialists to learn about our holistic rehab programs or to find the support you need during recovery.

If I Go to Rehab, Will It Appear On My Permanent Record?

In short, no, rehab will not appear on your permanent record. This common concern keeps many people from getting the help they need to overcome, so it’s important to know that your time in treatment will be private.

The stigma of addiction can be a huge barrier for some as they consider seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. People may worry that if they go to rehab, this information will follow them for life–and that future employers and others will be able to pry into this very personal information.

No one chooses to struggle with addiction, and no one should feel ashamed to seek help. Addiction is not a moral failing or even a choice at all–it is a complex condition requiring compassionate, comprehensive treatment. Like all other information related to your mental and physical healthcare, information about substance abuse treatment is protected by federal laws.

What Laws Protect My Treatment Information?

Laws That Protect Treatment Information


There are three significant laws protecting the confidentiality of your healthcare information, prohibiting discrimination, and allowing you to seek treatment without fear of losing your job.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects healthcare records and information. Information about rehab is protected under HIPAA, meaning no one may access your private records without your explicit, written consent.


The Americans With Disabilities Act protects people from employment discrimination after completing addiction treatment.


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take up to 12 weeks away from work to seek medical, mental health, or addiction treatment. Employees are not required to disclose the details of their leave when using the FMLA.

Is Information About My Addition Private?

Information about going to rehab will be kept confidential, but some aspects of your addiction may be public information. The legal issues and consequences related to your substance abuse, such as an arrest, jail sentence, or news stories, may be publicly accessible for many years to come.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that legal problems are common for people with substance abuse and addiction. In 2016, over a million traffic stops led to arrests for driving while intoxicated. These arrest records can impact people for the rest of their lives in several areas, including:

  • When seeking employment
  • Applying for housing
  • Credit applications

States have different laws around the release of arrest records. In some states, records are protected to some degree; in others, the names and mugshots of arrested people are published in local newspapers or online.

While the information about your time in treatment will be kept strictly confidential, you will likely have very little privacy when dealing with the legal consequences of your substance abuse. This “permanent record” could prevent you from making positive changes in your life later.

Recognizing the Need For Rehab

If you struggle with substance abuse, getting help as soon as possible is crucial before facing severe consequences. Understanding common signs of substance abuse and addiction can help you identify a problem and seek treatment quickly.

Some of the signs that you’re living with addiction include:

  • Needing to use more of the substance to get the same effects
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from using the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you cut back or stop using the substance
  • Neglecting your relationships, hobbies, and responsibilities because of substance use
  • Facing legal, financial, or health-related consequences because of substance use
  • Feeling like you can’t stop using the substance, even though it’s hurting you

Addiction is a loss of control over your substance use. After a period of ongoing substance use, your body may become dependent on drugs or alcohol–and you will likely need professional treatment to stop safely.

Get Help Now

Living with an untreated addiction can significantly affect every aspect of your health and well-being. Don’t wait another day before getting the help you need and deserve. Contact the caring specialists at Arise Treatment Center now to learn more about our effective, holistic treatment programs.


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