DOJ Targets Discrimination Against People with Addiction Disorders
The law classifies substance use disorder as a disability, meaning discriminating against someone for being in recovery or based on their past drug use is illegal.
Justice Department attorneys are increasingly leveraging the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to address discrimination and civil rights violations against people with substance use disorders, STAT News reports. The law classifies substance use disorder as a disability, meaning discriminating against someone for being in recovery or based on their past drug use is illegal. The law does not extend to someone actively using non-prescribed drugs.
The DOJ has been taking on cases involving institutions that turn away patients who are in recovery or have been prescribed certain medications, or that withhold treatment for substance use disorders. It also targets facilities that retaliate against or punish those in recovery, particularly in the criminal justice system. In recent months, the government has reach agreements with, or filed suit against, institutions in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Colorado regarding ADA violations. In April, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division released specific guidance outlining how the ADA applies to opioid use disorders.