Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Heading of Division 10.5 amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 22, Sec. 18. )


  ( Heading of Part 2 amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 862, Sec. 43. )

CHAPTER 12. Registration of Narcotic, Alcohol, and Other Drug Abuse Programs [11842 - 11845.5]
  ( Chapter 12 added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 862, Sec. 119. )


As used in this chapter, “narcotic and drug abuse program” means any program that provides any service of care, treatment, rehabilitation, counseling, vocational training, self-improvement classes or courses, narcotic replacement therapy in maintenance or detoxification treatment, or other medication services for detoxification and treatment, and any other services that are provided either public or private, whether free of charge or for compensation, which services are intended in any way to alleviate the problems of narcotic addiction or habituation or drug abuse addiction or habituation or any problems in whole or in part related to the problem of narcotics addiction or drug abuse, or any combination of these problems.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 22, Sec. 54. (AB 75) Effective June 27, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 110 of Ch. 22.)


As used in this chapter, an alcohol and other drug abuse program includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Residential programs that provide a residential setting and services such as detoxification, counseling, care, treatment, and rehabilitation in a live-in facility.

(b) Drop-in centers that are established for the purpose of providing counseling, advice, or a social setting for one or more persons who are attempting to understand, alleviate, or cope with their problems of alcohol and other drug abuse.

(c) Crisis lines that provide a telephone answering service that provides, in whole or in part, crisis intervention, counseling, or referral, or that is a source of general drug abuse information.

(d) Free clinics that are established for the purpose, either in whole or in part, of providing any medical or dental care, social services, or treatment, or referral to these services for those persons recognized as having a problem of narcotics addiction or drug abuse. Free clinics include primary care clinics licensed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 1204.

(e) Detoxification centers that are established for the purpose of detoxification from drugs, regardless of whether or not narcotics, restricted dangerous drugs, or other medications are administered in the detoxification and whether detoxification takes place in a live-in facility or on an outpatient basis.

(f) Narcotic treatment programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, that offer narcotic replacement therapy and maintenance, detoxification, or other services, in conjunction with that replacement narcotic therapy.

(g) Chemical dependency programs, whether inpatient or outpatient and whether in a hospital or nonhospital setting, that offer a set program of treatment and rehabilitation for persons with a chemical dependency that is not primarily an alcohol dependency.

(h) Alcohol and other drug prevention programs that promote positive action that changes the conditions under which the drug-taking behaviors to be prevented are most likely to occur and a proactive and deliberate process that promotes health and well-being by empowering people and communities with resources necessary to confront complex and stressful life conditions.

(i) Nonspecific drug programs that have not been specifically mentioned in subdivisions (a) to (h), inclusive, but that provide or offer to provide, in whole or in part, for counseling, therapy, referral, advice, care, treatment, or rehabilitation as a service to those persons suffering from alcohol and other drug addiction, or alcohol and other drug abuse related problems that are either physiological or psychological in nature.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 22, Sec. 55. (AB 75) Effective June 27, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 110 of Ch. 22.)


The county shall establish and maintain a registry of all narcotic and drug abuse programs and alcohol and other drug abuse programs within the county in order to promote a coordination of effort in the county.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 862, Sec. 119. Effective January 1, 2005.)


Each narcotic and drug abuse program and alcohol and other drug abuse program in a county shall register annually with the county alcohol and drug program administrator by July 1 or within 30 days after being established.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 862, Sec. 119. Effective January 1, 2005.)


(a) The identity and records of the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any patient, which identity and records are maintained in connection with the performance of any alcohol and other drug abuse treatment or prevention effort or function conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by the department shall, except as provided in subdivision (c), be confidential and be disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized under subdivision (b).

(b) The content of any records referred to in subdivision (a) may be disclosed in accordance with the prior written consent of the client with respect to whom the record is maintained, but only to the extent, under the circumstances, and for the purposes as clearly stated in the release of information signed by the client.

(c) Whether or not the client, with respect to whom any given record referred to in subdivision (a) is maintained, gives his or her written consent, the content of the record may be disclosed as follows:

(1) In communications between qualified professional persons employed by the treatment or prevention program in the provision of service.

(2) To qualified medical persons not employed by the treatment program to the extent necessary to meet a bona fide medical emergency.

(3) To qualified personnel for the purpose of conducting scientific research, management audits, financial and compliance audits, or program evaluation, but the personnel may not identify, directly or indirectly, any individual client in any report of the research, audit, or evaluation, or otherwise disclose patient identities in any manner. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “qualified personnel” means persons whose training and experience are appropriate to the nature and level of work in which they are engaged, and who, when working as part of an organization, are performing that work with adequate administrative safeguards against unauthorized disclosures.

(4) If the recipient of services is a minor, ward, or conservatee, and his or her parent, guardian, or conservator designates, in writing, persons to whom his or her identity in records or information may be disclosed, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to compel a physician and surgeon, psychologist, social worker, nurse, attorney, or other professional person to reveal information that has been given to him or her in confidence by members of the client’s family.

(5) If authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction granted after application showing probable cause therefor, as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 1524 of the Penal Code.

(d) Except as authorized by a court order granted under paragraph (5) of subdivision (c), no record referred to in subdivision (a) may be used to initiate or substantiate any criminal charges against a client or to conduct any investigation of a client.

(e) The prohibitions of this section shall continue to apply to records concerning any individual who has been a client, irrespective of whether he or she ceases to be a client.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 862, Sec. 119. Effective January 1, 2005.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC