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For many people, privacy is very important, which is why it is often guarded so jealously. Privacy is sometimes the reason people are reluctant to participate in surveys, even when the information that is gathered can be of benefit to everyone.

Only when they feel confident that their privacy will be protected will many share information about anything. The people who took the survey from which the statistical information in this article come from must have either been able to offer such assurances or were able to access sources that provided no personal information. Somehow, though, they were able to gather information on substance abuse as it pertained to 32,999 North Carolina residents.

These residents were asked using alcohol, either alone or with another substance of abuse, cocaine-smoked or taken in by another method, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine (meth). The numbers included how many of the 32,999 North Carolina residents used one of these specific drugs; this was broken down by gender. The rest of the survey dealt with substance abuse admissions. This was broken down into age categories and race/ethnic origin. Those wishing to view these numbers can link to the website posted at the end of this article.

But what happens, though, when someone's actions can no longer be kept private? What if someone is caught abusing drugs, or if not abusing them, selling or possessing illegal drugs? Oftentimes, this can mean media exposure, complete with names, home addresses, pictures, and other information that was previously held in privacy.

This can be embarrassing and humiliating. However, this does not mean that every aspect of a person's life from here on out must be exposed for public knowledge. Suppose a person's arrest was just the impetus needed to make that person decide it was time to look into the services provided by drug and alcohol treatment centers all over North Carolina? That is a good thing, of course, and those who operate and work at these facilities make it a point to protect a person's privacy.

Drug and alcohol treatment centers do this in many ways. Some do so by providing security. Access in and out of a facility is restricted, by use of key cards, special codes to unlock doors, gated entry and exit routes, and other ways. Some drug and alcohol treatment centers go so far as to "disguise" or downplay their locations or purpose. Facility names give no hint as to the purpose of the building in which they are located. The design of the center itself may be such that no one can determine if it is a regular office building or even, for that matter and in some instances, a private residence.

Inside the center, patients may not use their last names, and records are closely guarded. Patients and staff are reminded that everyone's privacy is important to each individual person. This can be especially important if a person enters into a facility and discovers that he knows someone else who is a patient there, or recognizes an acquaintance on the staff.

Treatment protocol is also administered with regard to privacy, but without sacrificing effectiveness. Counselors encourage patients to be open during their sessions by constantly assuring them that the information will be kept between them. At group therapy sessions, reminders are again given for everyone to respect each other's privacy.

Patients are not required to share personal information with one another or staff members other than counselors if they do not wish to do so. They have that right, if they so desire, and some may choose to, especially if they see they share a common interest with another patient.

In this way, each can provide the other with support while they are in the facility. If, after treatment is completed, they wish to continue communicating with each other, that is between them. When a person knows his privacy will be protected if or when he enters into one of North Carolina's drug and alcohol treatment centers, he may be more inclined to seek the help he needs. And, this is a good thing.

http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/arrests/county/37071.html
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/mhddsas/controlledsubstance/index.htm

North Carolina Drug Rebab Centers and North Carolina Addiction Treatment Programs