Patients' Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient, family member, or legally responsible party of a patient at Northern Light Acadia Hospital/Acadia Healthcare, we want you to be aware of the rights and responsibilities you have under Federal and Maine State law. We are committed to honoring your rights and want you to know that, by taking an active role in your healthcare, you can help Northern Light Acadia Hospital caregivers meet your needs.
This is a summary of your rights as a recipient of Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse Services in the State of Maine as defined by State law, 34B MRSA Section 3003 entitled “An Act Authorizing and Directing the Bureau of Mental Health to Enhance and Protect the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services.” You have the right to obtain a full copy of the Rights from Acadia Hospital Corporation/Acadia Healthcare Inc., or from the Department of Health and Human Services, State House Station 11, Hospital Street, Marquardt Building, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine 04333-0440, Office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical disability Services (207-287-4242), Adult Mental Health Services (207-287-4243), Children’s Behavioral Health Services (207-287-4251), TTY Maine Relay 711. If you are deaf or do not understand English, an interpreter will be made available to you so you can understand your rights.

Basic Rights

You have the same civil, human rights, and legal rights that all citizens have. You have the right to be treated with courtesy and full respect for your individuality and dignity.

Informed Consent to Treatment

No treatment may be provided to you against your will unless an emergency exists, you have a guardian who would be authorized to make decisions without your consent, or involuntary treatment has been ordered in district court commitment proceedings. You have the right to be informed of the possible risks and anticipated benefits of all treatment, including medications, in a manner which you understand. You have the right to refuse treatment, including medications, unless an emergency exists, you have a guardian who would be authorized to make treatment decisions for you without your consent, or involuntary treatment has been ordered in district court commitment proceedings. If you have any questions, you may ask your service provider or anyone else you choose before making decisions about treatment. If a guardian has been authorized to make decisions for you, the guardian has the right to be fully informed of all risks and benefits of proposed treatment.

Right to Pain Management

If you have pain you can expect to receive information about pain and pain relief, a staff committed to pain prevention and management, health professionals who respond to your reports of pain and who take those reports seriously, a pain management plan developed for you, and a referral to a pain specialist if necessary.

Individualized Treatment or Service Plan

You have the right to an individualized plan, developed by you and your treatment team, based upon your needs and goals. The plan must be in writing and you have the right to a copy of it. The plan needs to specifically detail what everyone will do, the time frames in which the tasks and goals will be accomplished, and how success will be determined. The plan must be based upon your actual needs, and, if a needed service is not available, detail how your need will be met. Your individualized treatment plan must include a comprehensive discharge plan and assisted referral to appropriate and existing resources.

Prevention of Medical Errors

At Acadia, we work very hard to prevent any errors in your treatment. Please help us by asking questions, by making sure that you understand your treatment plan (including each medication that is prescribed, each test that is ordered, and any other recommendations that we make). Talk frequently with your doctor, clinician, or nurse about your treatment options. And make sure that you understand what will happen in each phase of the treatment. Please let your doctor, clinician, or nurse know if you don’t understand something along the way. This gives us a chance to review what we are doing and to avoid errors. If you need to speak with someone other than your Treatment Team, please contact our director of Patient Experience at 207.973.6316, 1.800.640.1211 x6316, or TTY 207.973.6142.

Freedom from Unnecessary Seclusion and Restraint

You have the right to freedom from unnecessary seclusion and restraint. Seclusion and restraint may only be used to prevent harm to yourself or others. You cannot be secluded or restrained in an outpatient setting unless it is deemed an emergency situation in which there is a perceived threat of danger to self/others.

Least Restrictive Appropriate Setting

You have the right to be treated in the least restrictive appropriate setting to meet your needs.

Confidentiality and Access to Records

You have the right to have your records kept confidential and released only with your signed consent, except in instances described in the complete Rights book and/or the Federal Regulations on Substance Abuse Records (42 CFR, Part 2). You have the right to review your record at any reasonable time. You may add written comments to your record to clarify information you believe is inaccurate or incomplete. No one outside Acadia can see your record unless you specifically authorize them to see it, except in the following situations:
  1. When you allow information from your records to be given to another by signing a "Release of Information" form.
  2. When Acadia has received an order issued by the court for a civil or criminal proceeding.
  3. When your service provider or his/her supervisor "knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected", they must immediately report to the Department of Human Services.
  4. When your service provider or their supervisor "suspects that an incapacitated or dependent person has been abused, neglected, or exploited", they must immediately report to the Department of Human Services. The Federal Regulations do not permit making these reports if doing so would identify an individual as a substance abuse patient. Federal law and regulations do not protect any information relating to a crime threatened or committed against the program or against any person who works for the program.
  5. When your service provider or their supervisor knows or has reason to believe that there is imminent danger that you might harm yourself or that a threat has been made by you to cause harm to another person or persons.
  6. An inpatient admission to another hospital is considered a medical emergency and Acadia will provide your most recent discharge summary or outpatient annual summary to other hospitals upon admission when requested.
  7. A review is being conducted by an accredited licensing body.

Privacy and Humane Treatment Environment

You have the right to be free from abuse, exploitation, or neglect. You have the right to have your privacy assured and protected to the greatest extent possible given your treatment needs. You have the right to be free from unnecessary searches of your person or personal space except where there exists a reasonable belief that misappropriated articles are present or that certain items would endanger your health or the health or safety of others.

Free Association and Communication

You have the right to freedom of association and communication including the right to visitors, the right to communicate by mail and the right to communicate by telephone. These rights may only be restricted, if necessary, for safety purposes. You have the right to have reasonable opportunity for physical exercise and recreation, including access to outdoor activities.

Personal Property and Financial Affairs

You have the right to retain and use your personal property except where the use of such items infringes upon the rights of others or poses a safety risk. You have the right to manage your own personal financial affairs unless restrictions are part of your treatment plan with your informed consent or if court ordered restrictions exist.

Protection During Experimentation and Research

You may only participate in research studies on a voluntary basis, with written informed consent except as provided by law. You have the right to refuse to participate in research studies and to refuse experimental drugs.

Assistance in the Protection of Rights

You have the right to appoint a representative of your choice to help you understand your rights, protect your rights, or help you work out a treatment or service plan. If you wish to have a representative, you must designate this person in writing. You can have access to the representative at any time you wish, and you can change or cancel the designation at any time. You may also seek assistance from an advocate from the Disability Rights Center at 1-800-452-1948 or 24 Stone Street, P.O. Box 2007, Augusta, ME 04338-2007.

Right to File a Grievance

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about your treatment or believe your rights are being denied and these have not been resolved with your treatment plan, please talk to the staff or manager of your program, or our director of Patient Experience at 207.973.6316, 1.800.640.1211 x6316, or TTY: (207) 973-6142. If your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to formal grievance. You will not be punished in any way for filing a grievance. For help with filing a grievance, you may contact any staff for a grievance form and/or you may call the Disability Rights Center, 24 Stone Street, P.O. Box 2007, Augusta, ME 04338-2007 (Tel: 1-800-452-1948 or (207) 626-2774).

You may also contact The Joint Commission, Northern Light Acadia Hospital’s accreditation organization in these three ways:

  • At, using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website.
  • By fax to 630-792-5636.
  • By mail to The Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OQPS), The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181

You may also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at: or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 509F
HHH Building, Washington, DC 20201
(800) 368-1019, (800) 537-7697 (TDD)
Complaint forms are available at:

Medicare patients may contact:
BFCC-QIO Program, Area 1
5700 Lombardo Center Dr., Suite 100
Seven Hills, OH 44131 888-319-8452

Feel free to ask questions about any of these rights that you do not understand. If you have questions about these rights, please discuss them with your care providers.

French: ATTENTION :  Si vous parlez français, des services d'aide linguistique vous sont proposés gratuitement.  Appelez le 1-888-986-6341 (ATS : 711).

Spanish: ATENCIÓN:  si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística.  Llame al 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Oromo (Cushite): XIYYEEFFANNAA: Afaan dubbattu Oroomiffa, tajaajila gargaarsa afaanii, kanfaltiidhaan ala, ni argama.  Bilbilaa 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Chinese: 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 1-888-986-6341(TTY:711)。

Vietnamese: CHÚ Ý:  Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn.  Gọi số 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Tagalog (Filipino): PAUNAWA:  Kung nagsasalita ka ng Tagalog, maaari kang gumamit ng mga serbisyo ng tulong sa wika nang walang bayad.  Tumawag sa 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Cambodian (Khmer): ប្រយ័ត្ន៖  បើសិនជាអ្នកនិយាយ ភាសាខ្មែរ, សេវាជំនួយផ្នែកភាសា ដោយមិនគិតឈ្នួល គឺអាចមានសំរាប់បំរើអ្នក។  ចូរ ទូរស័ព្ទ 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711)។

Russian: ВНИМАНИЕ:  Если вы говорите на русском языке, то вам доступны бесплатные услуги перевода.  Звоните 1-888-986-6341 (телетайп: 711).

ملحوظة:  إذا كنت تتحدث اذكر اللغة، فإن خدمات المساعدة اللغوية تتوافر لك بالمجان.  اتصل برقم 1-888-986-6341(رقم
 هاتف الصم والبكم: 711).

German: ACHTUNG:  Wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, stehen Ihnen kostenlos sprachliche Hilfsdienstleistungen zur Verfügung.  Rufnummer: 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Korean: 주의:  한국어를 사용하시는 경우, 언어 지원 서비스를 무료로 이용하실 수 있습니다.  1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711)번으로 전화해 주십시오.

Thai: เรียน:  ถ้าคุณพูดภาษาไทยคุณสามารถใช้บริการช่วยเหลือทางภาษาได้ฟรี  โทร 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711).

Nilotic (Dinka): PIŊ KENE: Na ye jam në Thuɔŋjaŋ, ke kuɔny yenë kɔc waar thook atɔ̈ kuka lëu yök abac ke cïn wënh cuatë piny. Yuɔpë 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711)

Japanese:  注意事項:日本語を話される場合、無料の言語支援をご利用いただけます。1-888-986-6341(TTY:711)まで、お電話にてご連絡ください。

Polish: UWAGA:  Jeżeli mówisz po polsku, możesz skorzystać z bezpłatnej pomocy językowej.  Zadzwoń pod numer 1-888-986-6341 (TTY: 711)