Virginia and Federal Laws Affecting Substance Abusers

Article excerpt

There are many laws, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations and case precedents that may affect substance abusers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The majority of these laws, both state and federal, are reproduced in summary form below. Some laws are directed specifically at conduct or behavior associated with substance abusers. These are generally found in the area of crimes. Other laws, like many of the anti-discrimination statutes, will affect substance abusers as a sub-class of disabled persons. Finally other laws, such as the anti-dumping provisions of COBRA, affect substance abusers only as members of the public who may be in need of certain services. (Medicaid provisions, some of which cover mental illness and therefore possibly substance abusers, require more in-depth analysis and will be examined in a future issue.) A central theme of all these laws can be seen: while the status of being an alcoholic or a drug addict in itself is not a crime or a reason for discrimination, substance abusers will be required to conform their behavior to law and, even in cases involving discrimination, may be required to actively seek treatment.

INDEX

I. Discrimination

   A. Employment

      1. Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973
      2. Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol
         Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation
         Act of 1970
      3. Federal Drug Prevention Statute
      4. Virginians with Disabilities Act
      5. Virginia Human Rights Act
      6. Local Human Rights Ordinances

   B. Housing

      1. Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988
      2. Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973
      3. Virginia Fair Housing Law
      4. Zoning Ordinances

   C. Medical Treatment

      1. Hill-Burton Act (Hospital Survey and
         Construction Act)
      2. Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act
         of 1986 (COBRA)
      3. Insurance law
      4. HMO law

II. Social Security Benefits

III. Mental Health Laws

IV. Crimes

   A. Controlled Substances

      1. Alcohol
      2. Drugs

   B. Public Drunkenness
   C. Interdiction
   D. Vehicles

      1. Motor Vehicles
      2. Motor Boats
      3. Aircraft

   E. Firearms
   F. Defense of Crimes

      1. Insanity

V. Regulation of Professions

   A. Certified Alcoholism and Drug Counselors
   B. Reporting Statutes

      1. Health care practitioners

   C. Consent

      1. Minors

Nils Montan is a member of the Virginia bar and is presently an LL.M. candidate at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Virginia and federal laws affecting substance abusers

General Area                     Citation

I. Discrimination

A. Employment

1. Federal Rehabilitation Act    29 U.S.C. [section] 701
of 1973                          through 796

2. Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse   42 U.S.C. [section] 290dd
and Alcohol Prevention,
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Act of 1970

3. Federal Drug Prevention       42 U.S.C. [section] 290dd
Statute

4. Virginians with               Va. Code Ann.
Disabilities Act                 [section][section] 51.5-1 to
                                 46

5. Virginia Human Rights Act     Va. Code Ann.
                                 [section][section] 2.1-714 to
                                 725

6. Local Human Rights            Va. Code Ann. [section] 15.1-
Ordinances                       37.3:8

B. Housing

1. Fair Housing Amendments Act   42 U.S.C. [section][section]
of 1988                          3601 through 3619 24 CFR 100

2. Federal Rehabilitation Act    29 U.S.C. [section] 701
of 1973                          through 796

3. Virginia Fair Housing Law     Va. Code Ann. [section]
                                 [section] 36-86 to 94

4. Zoning Ordinances             Va. Code Ann. [section] 15.1-
                                 486.2

C. Medical Treatment

1. Hill-Burton Act (Hospital     42 U.S. …