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Addiction Treatment Laws & Regulations In Mississippi

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The Bureau of Alcohol and Drug services provides funding and supervision for Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC). These centers are responsible for providing services or referrals for substance use disorders along with other forms of mental health treatment.

Resource Directory For Substance Use Disorder Treatment In Mississippi

Mississippi’s DMH Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services maintains a directory of certified providers throughout the state. Not all drug and alcohol service providers in Mississippi must be certified to operate legally. However, programs that are not certified by Mississippi’s DMH are not listed in the directory.

Program Certification In Mississippi

Private not-for-profit and for-profit drug and alcohol rehab programs do not have to be certified by the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Depending on the services they provide, they may be required to obtain certification from other programs in the state, including the Department of Human Services and Department of Rehabilitation Services. 

Mississippi also offers an ID/DD Waiver for home-based programs that receive Medicaid funding. The waiver only applies to programs for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, not to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers.

Certification of new drug and alcohol programs in Mississippi is a two-step process. Provider organizations must first be certified as a DMH provider. Then, providers need to certify their specific SUD program and each location where the program operates.

DMH conducts orientation of new service providers. The state also provides an on-site compliance review. In addition, service providers may be subject to a peer review and quality assurance program.

Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)

Most drug and alcohol services in Mississippi are provided through the Department of Mental Health’s Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC). The centers are located in 14 regions throughout the state. 

The state mandates each center to provide drug and alcohol outpatient and prevention services. They must provide referrals to or access to residential drug and/or alcohol treatment. 

Each Region’s CMHC commission must establish rules to provide primary residential drug and alcohol treatment, DUI assessment services, and recovery support services.

Patient Rights In Mississippi

According to the Department of Mental Health, patients in residential programs have the right to ethical, considerate, and respectful treatment. What’s more, patients CANNOT be:

  • subjected to corporal punishment
  • subjected to use (all forms)
  • physically restrained

In Mississippi, patients also have the right to person-centered treatment, voicing their opinions and recommendations, and filing written grievances. They must also be provided services in their own language when they have limited English proficiency.

 Patients must receive individual treatment plans and have the right to a written copy of their plan. They also have the right to receive care in a safe setting.

Laws For Employment Drug And Alcohol Testing In Mississippi

Mississippi allows pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing by employers within the state. Employers must have written policies for testing which are provided to employees. 

They must also contract for test results with laboratories meeting state standards for testing. Employees must also be provided with a Medication Disclosure Form prior to testing, including random testing.

Drug Courts In Mississippi

Mississippi has some of the strictest drug laws in the United States. The state initiated drug courts in the 1990s in an effort to provide treatment instead of incarceration. Mississippi’s first drug court began in 1995. As of 2011, Mississippi had 38 drug courts, with additional programs in pre-planning stages.

Drug courts are an alternative to long-term incarceration for non-violent offenders in Mississippi. Drug court programs can last up to two years. Each drug court establishes its own policies for: 

  • rehabilitation
  • participation
  • drug testing
  • completion of the drug court program

People in drug court programs usually progress through four phases, from initial treatment that includes daily self-help or peer group meetings and frequent random urine testing to subsequent phases allowing more individual freedom. 

Drug court participants are guided through the process of seeking gainful employment and eventual graduation from the program. People who committed violent crimes or drug dealing/distribution are not eligible for drug court programs in Mississippi.

Sources:

Justia US Law—2017 Mississippi Code Title 9 

Mississippi Department of Mental Health—2016 Operational Standards 

Mississippi Department of Mental Health—Alcohol and Drug Services 

Mississippi Department of Mental Health—Community Mental Health Centers 

Mississippi Department of Mental Health—DMH Addictions Therapist Standards & Requirements 

Mississippi State Department of Health—Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations