Congress passed legislation, and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a set of regulations to protect information about clients' substance use disorder treatment. The law is codified at 42 U.S.C. _290dd-2.

The implementing Federal regulations, Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Client Records, are contained in 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (Vol. 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2).

The Federal law and regulations severely restrict communications about identifiable clients by "programs" providing substance use/abuse diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment (42 CFR _2.11).

The purpose of the law and regulations is to decrease the risk that information about individuals in recovery will be disseminated and that they will be ostracized or subjected to discrimination.