Laws

Laws pertaining to substance abuse and mental health services, SAMHSA programs, and related topics.

Federal Laws Related to SAMHSA

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is one aspect of a broader movement toward reforming the health care system. The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance more affordable for individuals, families, and small business owners. People living with mental health challenges or substance use disorders often have problems getting private health insurance. Now there are special insurance protections to help.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establishes requirements for equal opportunities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications for citizens with disabilities – including people with mental illnesses and addictions.

Olmstead v. L.C. Decision

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark Olmstead decision applying the Americans with Disabilities Act to the right of individuals with disabilities to receive health care in a community-based setting.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires insurance groups offering coverage for mental health or substance use disorders to make these benefits comparable to general medical coverage. Deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket maximums, treatment limitations, etc., for mental health or substance use disorders must be no more restrictive than the same requirements or benefits offered for other medical care.

Grant and Funding

Charitable Choice

These federal regulations apply to states, local governments, and religious organizations who receive Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants or the Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness Formula Grants, or both.

These federal regulations apply to states, local governments, and religious organizations who receive discretionary funding to pay for substance use prevention and treatment services.

Emergency Response

These federal regulations detail grant application procedures for states and Indian tribes to support local community emergency response related to substance use and mental illness.

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program

These federal regulations detail the requirements of protection and advocacy services receiving federal assistance under the Protection and Advocacy for Mental III Individuals Act of 1986.

Tobacco Regulation for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants

This regulation requires states to have a law in place prohibiting manufactures, retailers, or distributors of tobacco products from selling or distributing to minors before they can receive block grant funding.

Substance Use Regulations

Federal Workplace Drug Testing

This Federal Register notice announces proposed revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The guidelines establish the scientific and technical procedures for federal workplace drug testing programs and establish standards for the certification of laboratories engaged in drug testing for federal agencies.

This Federal Register notice details the final notice of revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.

This Federal Register notice highlights a correction to the effective date of the revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2008.

Opioid Drug Treatment

These federal regulations specify the procedures for the certification of opioid treatment programs to dispense opioid drugs in the treatment of opioid addiction.

Patient Record Confidentiality

These federal regulations specify restrictions concerning the disclosure and use of patient records that federal programs maintain.

Other Federal Regulations Related to SAMHSA

Many federal regulations related to SAMHSA are listed under Title 42: Public Health of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). You can read the regulations online in the e-CFR, an up-to-date electronic posting of the CFR.

Last Updated: 07/22/2013