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Treatment Communities of America (TCA) is dedicated to national advocacy that promotes quality Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and provides maximum benefits to those affected by SUD and other mental health conditions. TCA ensures its member agencies are committed to the highest ethical and quality standards regarding treatment and related services, agency management, and related business practices.  

TCA member agencies agree to the Guiding Principles identified in this Code of Ethics as a condition of membership. These principles provide overarching guidance regarding the ethical provision of treatment; affirmation that each member agency will enact a code of ethics that informs their services and business operations while reflecting their agency’s mission and vision; and attestation to operate in accordance with specific regulations of the State(s) in which they reside.

TCA members who represent an Association will be governed by their own Association’s Code of Ethics. The Association’s Code of Ethics will be vetted by TCA during the membership application process.

Guiding Principles

 TCA Member Agencies will:

  1. Promote ethical behavior in all aspects of their business practices and pledge to not participate in, condone, or associate with any form of fraud, or deceit, inclusive of any form of patient brokering, deceptive marketing practices and/or the receipt or provision of any financial or in-kind reward for referral of participants.
  2. Ensure that all participants, their families and staff are afforded human dignity and civil rights regardless of race, religion, creed, ethnic background, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, health status, and/or criminal background.
  3. Operate within the boundaries of all federal, state and local laws and regulations, inclusive of those pertaining to client’s rights, health and safety codes, licensing and credentialing standards.
  4. Respect participants’ rights to privacy and ensure that confidentiality is maintained in accordance with all federal and state laws and regulatory requirements, inclusive of ensuring that participants mandated to services are aware of any legal limitations to their confidentiality rights.
  5. Support opportunities for participants to have a voice in their SUD treatment, as well as input into program offerings and service delivery.
  6. Strive to deliver services that are consistent with the most current research in the SUD treatment field, taking into account the unique needs of the populations served, inclusive of gender, age, race, ethnicity, language, sexual preference, cultural and socioeconomic status.
  7. Ensure all staff is offered access to education, training and skill building opportunities to maximize their ability to provide effective and ethical interventions to participants.
  8. Confirm that staff provides services within the boundaries of their scope of practice and competence as established through education, state and national professional credentials and certifications, and relevant experience.
  9. Ensure staff and participants are provided education and knowledge of all relevant laws and policies that guide and regulate the delivery of SUD services and encourage disclosure of any concerns and/or violations of such without fear of recrimination.
  10. Certify that any fees charged for services are reasonable, transparent, and available to the public.
  11. Conduct ongoing internal evaluation of their operations as part of a commitment to continuous quality improvement.
  12. Advocate on behalf of participants, families and communities impacted by SUD in order to eliminate barriers and obstacles that impede access to and/or the delivery of quality services.  
  13. TCA Member Agency Representatives will uphold this Code of Ethics and Guiding Principles.
  14. TCA Member Agencies agree to report any known violations to the TCA Executive Director.


Complaints of Violation

The complaint procedure is as follows:

  • Alleged violations of these guiding principles shall be reported to the TCA Executive Director and discussed directly with the Organization in question.
  • If the violation is determined to warrant further review, the Executive Director will refer the matter to the Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee for examination. While it is not the intent of TCA to become engaged in the internal affairs of a TCA member, it is TCA’s responsibility to ensure that its members are representative of the aforementioned principles.  Therefore, if a violation has occurred, sufficient investigation will be required to determine if the Member can continue to participate in TCA.
  • The Standards and Ethics Committee will request a written response from the TCA member regarding the alleged violation within 30 days of receipt of the request for information.
  • The Standards and Ethics Committee will discuss and evaluate the response and recommend appropriate action, inclusive of dismissal of the complaint for lack of findings, development of a plan for addressing the violation and/or suspension or termination from TCA membership.
  • The Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee will submit the Committee’s recommendations to the Executive Director within 30 days of receipt of the Member’s response.
  • The Executive Director will review and take action within 30 days of the Committee’s report and present the results to the TCA member. TCA will not allow a member to actively participate in the organization if a violation of ethics has been confirmed. If member violations remain unaddressed, TCA will take action to expel the Organization in accordance with the By- Laws.