Does probation/parole have the right to see medical records?

Will buprenorphine show up in drug tests? Can nurses take Suboxone? Can I do drug court on methadone or buprenorphine? My PO says NO medication-assisted treatments.
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Does probation/parole have the right to see medical records?

Post by SubPar » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:06 pm

I have a loved one who has been on Suboxone for years and done very well. She was arrested on old charges a year ago and done her time in county jail and is out now and on Parole ... she went back to her Sub Dr after she got out twice to get back on Suboxone and told him things that if Parole found out... she would go back to jail.
She quit going to here Sub Dr a few months ago and is NOT doing well...she has been doing things that could get her sent back to jail.... she needs to get back on Suboxone badly but is scared to because she has heard that probation/parole can MAKE her sign a release from her Suboxone Dr. and Counsler and if that happened she would go back to jail because of the things she has told him.
She has been lucky so far and not got a urine test.....
The county Parole/Probation here does urine tests for Buprenorphine, So is it true that she would have to sign a release to her Parole officer when they find out she is on Suboxone??
And what would the "Release" include.... does it tell everything she has said or done or is it just a release that says that she is on Suboxone??
Please help, she really needs some advise.
Thanks,

suboxOWNED

Post by suboxOWNED » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:23 pm

As far as I know no I dont think they can do that. I dont think probation/parole has a right because of the Dr./patient privelage. Im on probation too and they know about my suboxone treatment and actualy encourage it believe it or not but they have never once talked to my doctor.

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Post by Bboy42287 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:34 pm

Id def say if suboxowned is on probation and is takeing suboxone then your friends best bet is to get those papers signed to get back on suboxone.

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Post by hatmaker510 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:38 pm

Hi subpar - It sounds like your friend is in a real bind. I hope s/he can get back on suboxone and back to being stable in remission/recovery. I honestly have no idea if a PO can "make" someone release their medical records, but I highly doubt it.
When it comes to being on sub and on parole/probation, it really depends on the court, judge, and/or PO as to whether they "allow" the person to be on sub. I've heard of people who have no problem being on it and yet I've also heard of people being made by a PO to stop sub treatment. I would suggest your friend deal with one thing at a time - get back on the sub, then deal with the fallout later, if there even is any.

Hope this helps. Let us know how it turns out.
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suboxOWNED

Post by suboxOWNED » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:46 pm

I dont know if it varies from state to state but when I go to court the judge says "no alcohol or drugs" but anything prescribed by a doctor is fine. So if the judge says prescriptions are fine the probation officer cant do a damn thing. They may whine and bitch and try to intimidate you to get off it but they cannot over ride the judges decision. My PO has talked mentioned to me "how long do you think you'll be on it" a few times early in my probation but I have had a few lengthy discussions with im describing how sub treatment is generaly view as a long term thing sometimes for life and now he is on my side. I have some hefty fines to pay and one appt with my PO I was depressed when i found out about the fines and he asked me "whats wrong" and I said well with these fines I may have to stop taking my suboxone because I cant afford to both pay the fines and be on my meds. He said word for word "if you have to choose between paying fines or paying for your medication then pay for your meds and dont worry about the fines, the judge will give you extended time to pay your fines you just have to go to court every 6 months to ask for more time".

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Post by hatmaker510 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:50 pm

Suboxowned - sounds like you've got one terrific PO, and a not-so-bad judge, too. Good on you! Keep up the good work.
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Post by SubPar » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:30 pm

Thanks for the replys everyone... I showed her all your responces and it made her feel a little better.
I basically told her the same thing, i just dont want to give her wrong advice and be responcable for her going back to jail.
If anyone knows a Suboxone Dr. that can verify this for sure please let me know.
I understand her worrys about not wanting to go back to jail... I have been there and its not fun :!:
I also told her that even it she has to sign a release to Parole, she is still risking going back to jail by doing what she is doing right now.
Any other responces are appreciated
Thanks again.

suboxOWNED

Post by suboxOWNED » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:04 pm

Hatmaker yea I hate probation but my PO is definitely a fair guy. As long as you are honest with him he's a real decent guy. The judge is alright I guess, i was a wreck when I was in front of him for my bond hearing while I was still withdrawling in jail and he snapped at me and told me "to shut up or I'll raise your bail and you wont get out" just for answering something he asked me. I didnt know my public defender was supposed to do all my talking for me when the judge asked me a question so it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth about the judge but other than that we'll see how he is at my sentencing on jan 4th.

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Post by Diary of a Quitter » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:15 pm

From what I understand about medical releases, your friend would be able to tell from the document that she is asked to sign what exactly she is consenting for her doctor to share with her parole officer.

The form should say whether she is agreeing for her whole medical record to be sent to the parole officer, or if she is just consenting for the doctor to report to the parole officer whether she is compliant with her treatment, is attending the required appointments, whether she has taken and UA's, etc.

I don't know what your friend told her Sub doctor that could get her sent back to jail, or why the doctor would have written those things in her chart, but I do believe that it is your right as a patient to see your chart and to have things redacted from your chart. So maybe the first thing she should do is go to her doctor, ask to see her chart, and take a look and see if there really is anything in there that could get her in trouble. If there is, she could probably explain the situation to her doctor and see if those things could be redacted.

In any case, I don't see why her parole officer would be given complete access to her medical records/charts. I know that in school (I'm studying to be a chemical dependency counselor) we were taught that if we have a client who is on probation/parole, we might be asked to report whether the client is attending counseling sessions and complying with their treatment plan, but we wouldn't discuss specifically what we talked about with the client in counseling sessions nor would we provide the parole/probation officer with copies of our chart notes.
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Post by hatmaker510 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:26 pm

Diary has a good point and I agree that the release should specify what exactly you're consenting to have released. As for being able to redact something from a medical record, it's my understanding that you cannot. It falls under HIPAA guidelines whereas you can't remove anything, but you can add a statement or other additional information. But looking at your medical records is your right and it is a good idea to do so. I really hope this works out.
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Post by junkie781 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:16 pm

IT's been so long since I was on parole or probation that things have likely changed since then, and they may have changed substantially. I got out of prison in 1998 with a full and complete discharge. Last time I was on parole was around 1995, and back then all of the privacy stuff was JUST starting to become a big concern.....

From what I understand now, this stuff his handled on a case by case basis depending on your jurisdiction.

It would seem to me that treatment with suboxone would HELP to keep a drug addict OUT of trouble, but some people still see anyone taking any kind of opiate as potentially "abuse" I guess. It's all part of the unfortunate stigma that is often attached to addiction.

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Legals

Post by scottcat » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:51 am

I was on Parole for YEARS in New York, & although they CAN screw with you here for taking controlleds, I was on Suboxone for almost 1/2 of my time on Parole, & as long as that is all that you are taking, they can't do shit except make your time harder. I was forced to do a 7 month inpatient program because of 1 relapse, but I got to stay on Sub the whole time. Thats my history w/ this subject.
In God I Trust.

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Re: Legals

Post by SubPar » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:30 pm

scottcat wrote:I was on Parole for YEARS in New York, & although they CAN screw with you here for taking controlleds, I was on Suboxone for almost 1/2 of my time on Parole, & as long as that is all that you are taking, they can't do shit except make your time harder. I was forced to do a 7 month inpatient program because of 1 relapse, but I got to stay on Sub the whole time. Thats my history w/ this subject.
Did you have to sign a medical release for Parole to be able to talk to your doctor or for Parole to view your medical records from your Suboxone Dr.?

Thanks everyone for all the responces 8)

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Post by quadracersteve » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:32 am

Instead of making herself sick over this, why doesn't she bring in her prescription to her PO. As long as it's prescribed, there isn't a thing they can do, except maybe test her more often. But that's better than coming up positive for her DOC illegaly or getting arrested again. When I was on probation, I had a script for Xanax and Percs, and they couldn't do a thing because I got it legally. My guess would be that it depends on the state. If I was her, I'd go through the yellow pages and ask a lawyer(s) this question. Unless they hold a gun to her head, I can't imagine her being forced to sign anything.

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Post by moman » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:57 am

In 1987, while on probation, I checked into a treatment center. While there, I knew I'd miss an appt., so my counselor informed my PO. The day before d/c, I went to pick up my mail, and I got a letter informing me that the county prosecutor was scheduling a revocation hearing. They assumed that, since I went to rehab, I had used, therefore violating my probation. Later, the PO "ordered" me to sign a release of all my medical records.....I refused.

During the hearing, the same PO testified that I had flunked a UDS, which was bullshit. My attorney asked her to produce the results, which she could not. Needless to say, this didn't fly with the judge, but I still endured a lot of agony.

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Re: Does probation/parole have the right to see medical records?

Post by Kerouackat » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:29 pm

SubPar wrote: And what would the "Release" include.... does it tell everything she has said or done or is it just a release that says that she is on Suboxone??
Please help, she really needs some advise.
Thanks,
NO, they can't make her, and it is up to her what information SHE WANTS released period! The doctor/his office staff could be sued for releasing any information on a patient without their written permission (HIPPA act). She can tell the doctor she needs a statement that is taking Suboxone, and that's it.
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Post by SubPar » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:19 pm

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone, your responces were a big help.... She is back on Suboxone and doing well... no issues with probation as of yet :)

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Post by Jackcrack » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:44 pm

Just one more quick thing to add to this.......she may want to try talking to the sub doc and telling him/her the predicament and asking if there is any way if they requested anything that he simply say it is his policy not to provide the information even with a release. I work in a profession that deals very closely with doctors and lawyers and whatnot and patients do this when they are feeling forced into releasing medical records for fear of retribution (such as going to jail) and many doctors will refuse to provide them without a court order (which they couldn't get anyways most likely as it isn't any of their business). Even then, he/she would probably only be forced to provide those portions of the record that are pertinent. It sounds to me that unless your friend had dirty UA's, she would be okay because that is really only the pertinent part aside from the script.

In addition, as DOQ said, she can be VERY specific on the release what she is releasing. She can hand write on any release handed to her to specify which parts of her medical she is releasing and what she is not. She can specify only UA results and dates of treatment. She can specify only dosage information and scripts. Anything she wants. She has a heck of a lot more control than she thinks. So she may want to talk to the sub doc now in case a release is put in front of her. She will save herself a whole lof of panic down the line.

Congrats to her for getting back on track! Tell her this is just part of the recovery process and she should be proud of herself for choosing her health and her life despite these unfortunate circumstances. Good for her. If I was a PO I would certainly think she was on the right track.

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Post by moman » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:08 am

Some POs would love to get a blanket release so they could look at everything....don't do it. Specify verification of treatment, and that is it! Anything else would be none of their damned business!

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Re: Does probation/parole have the right to see medical reco

Post by Kays104842 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:28 pm

Hi.. this just happened to me. Unfortunately yes. When you're on probation you turn over most of your rights to privacy so at any time your PO can request to view your medical records especially when substance abuse and mental diagnoses is involved. HOWEVER.. get your attorney involved because he could put up a fair argument as to why she needed full access. The PO is probably just digging for violations. Make sure the records are restricted wherever they're coming from so even though you signed a form for the PO, she still can't obtain them til you talked to an attorney. Some PO are assholes and just do whatever to violate someone and get a raise.

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