Alabama Treatment Center Abuse: Your Personal & Legal Rights

The state of Alabama either contracts with or certifies substance abuse programs throughout the state. If you believe your rights have been violated by a program that either provides services for or has been certified by the state of Alabama, you may contact the Substance Abuse Services Division of the Alabama Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation (ADMG/MR) for consumer advocacy assistance. The department has a number of advocates across the state that may be able to help you. Advocates are generally non-adversarial and can provide information and referrals, rights complaint investigations and resolutions, facility compliance monitoring and rights education and training.

If you are receiving services from a drug or alcohol treatment center, you have rights, both legal and personal. These rights include:

- The right to know the cost of care and services you will receive when admitted to a facility.
- The right not to be abused, either physically or mentally or through neglect.
- The right to a safe and humane environment and treatment for your positive self-image and dignity.
- The right not to be restrained or isolated unnecessarily.
- The right to wear your own clothes and to keep your own possessions.
- The right to see visitors, send/receive mail, and use the telephone.
- The right to have records of your treatment kept private.
- The right to practice whatever religious faith you choose.
- The right to be treated as a legally competent adult unless a court has ordered otherwise.
- If you are school-age, the right to a free and appropriate public education.
- The right to file a “writ of habeas corpus” with an attorney of your choice if you feel you are being held in a facility illegally.
- The right to due process, that is, that your rights may not be taken from you without justification.
- The right to quality and individualized treatment.
- The right to participate in your own treatment.
- The right to receive the least restrictive treatment in the least restrictive settings available for your treatment.
- The right to refuse any experimental or research-based treatment.
- The right to treatment and services based on your voluntary, written and informed consent.
- The right to know your rights.

If your rights have been violated, you may call ADMG/MR or seek direct intervention from an experienced Alabama attorney specializing in treatment center abuse. Fill out our case evaluation form if you would like an Alabama lawyer to evaluate your case for free.