Chemical dependency counseling involves direct interactions with the clients and as such standards need to be set which will promote safe and accountable counseling. Chemical dependency counseling has a set code of ethics, guidelines and regulations that seek to safeguard the interests of everybody involved. Laws and ethics ensure that everyone acts in a way that does not cause harm to others. Laws and ethics also help to give the profession its credibility. The Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (2014) gives provisions on the conduct of counselors as stipulated by the law. Chapter 135-7-01 provides the various responsibilities of counselors to their clients. Every counselor has a responsibility to their clients. It is their primary duty to promote the welfare of their clients and meet the client’s best interests.
Chapter 135-7-03 of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (2014) stipulates that confidentiality especially of client information must be observed at all times. The counselor should safeguard the client’s information to the extent stipulated by the law. The American Counseling Association (2005) incorporates confidentiality as part of their Code of Ethics. It requires counselors to keep the counselor-client relationship and information shared confidential. In the case of group counseling it stipulates that provisions must be stated that protect confidentiality. The counselor must clearly record and keep the client information confidential at all costs. According to the Texas certification Board of Addiction Professionals, the chemical dependency specialist has a duty to protect the privacy of clients and must not disclose information obtained from teaching, investigation or practice. The specialist must inform and obtain agreement from the client in areas likely to affect the client's participation such as recording the session or, the observation of the session by another person. The specialist must also stipulate provisions for maintaining confidentiality and the ultimate disposition of confidential records. According to NAADAC (2013) the counselor must prioritize the duty of protecting client privacy and must not disclose information acquired in teaching, investigation or practice. Principle 8a states that the counselor must inform the client and attain consent in situations that affect the client. They must also make provisions for maintaining confidentiality and disposing of confidential records. The various associations that deal with chemical dependency counselors all agree that confidentiality of the client information is paramount. It shows that all counselors must be ready to observe confidentiality throughout their practice also when discussing issues with colleagues regarding chemical dependency. Counselors may be held accountable for failure to observe confidentiality; therefore, they should not ignore this fact at any point in their practice....