The ethics codes of the helping professions are inextricably tied to the day-to-day practice of those professions. Clinicians cannot successfully carry out their fiduciary responsibilities to their clients or uphold the integrity of their professions without adhering to the ethical and moral principles that are found in their codes of ethics. These codes are not simply boilerplate documents that exist in the abstract. They are living, breathing documents with real-world implications, especially in the legal arena, that trigger a panoply of rights, responsibilities and consequences.
As NAADAC moves toward final revision of its Code of Ethics in 2011, addiction professionals are well-advised to familiarize themselves with the new code and seek to apply its provisions consistently in their daily practices.
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Charles W. Hemingway, JD, MS, NCC, CADC-I, is a member of NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals and its Ethics Committee. He practiced law in the U.S. Army and in private practice for 23 years, retiring in 2000. He currently is Executive Director of Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, a nonprofit veterans advocacy group. His e-mail address is
Douglas S. Querin, JD, MA, CADC-I, is a member of NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals and works as an attorney and counselor for the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program of the Oregon State Bar, providing mental health and addiction counseling services to lawyers, judges and law students. Addiction Professional 2011 March-April;9(2):18-21