Finding the best rehab center, whether it be for yourself or a loved one, has become a tedious task of sifting through fancy ads and pretty pictures. Word of mouth and traditional referral resources have become a thing of the past, as the internet, especially Google, has become the go-to resource for all things; especially for families and addicts searching for help. Typically when you search terms like “addiction rehabs near me” or “drug and alcohol rehabs,” you are flooded with ads, leaving you to believe these links are legitimate and relevant to your search.
However, before last week, those ads were not ranked by merit, but instead by the highest bidder. This strategy has inherently created a trend for unfit and unscrupulous rehab centers to worm their way into the treatment industry. Since this tactic has proven to be harmful for the suffering individual, made it difficult for quality providers to succeed, and has tarnished the reputation of the entire field, Google has officially put an end to paid advertising for drug and alcohol rehabs.
“We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision”, Google spokeswoman Elisa Greene said in a statement last Thursday.
The action taken by the internet giant is noteworthy because similar steps have only been taken a few times in the past. Last year, Google limited ads for payday lenders, citing practices that trapped consumers in a cycle of debt, and before that, the company created a system to verify locksmiths in order to prevent fraud.
While preventing fraud should be on the top of any company’s list, the decision to no longer allow paid advertising for drug and alcohol treatment is especially monumental, because this is literally a matter of life and death. “This is a bold move by one of the world’s biggest companies, saying people’s lives are more important that profit,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction.
Paid Advertising & Shady Practices
There is definitely no shortage of people in need of drug and alcohol treatment services, as millions of Americans find themselves in the grips of active addiction. With the numbers skyrocketing, the demand for more facilities and rehab centers has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, due to this demand, corrupt businessmen and treatment providers saw an opportunity to make millions off of other’s suffering. From hijacking Google business listings of ethical treatment facilities, to lying about the physical location of the center, to false advertisement, shady marketers will, and have done, anything necessary to make the next buck. Time and time again, we hear stories of addicts being promised the chance to recover in a resort-like atmosphere, only to find themselves at the door of a foreclosed mansion or converted ex-motel, staffed by individuals with no accreditation or license to treat addiction.
So, how specifically does paid advertising work? The Verge explains it best, “Advertisers tell Google how much they want to spend on search ads per month, which keywords they’d like those ads to run against, and then pay Google every time someone clicks on their ad.” So, Google is actually taking a hit financially, but by banning paid advertising, they demonstrate how much they value their consumers. While the new restrictions affect paid ads, it will not have an impact on legitimate treatment facilities’ websites, where a person can gather true organic information about that center and their services. This will give the addict the opportunity to make up their own minds about each facility they are researching, and no longer be at the mercy of sketchy advertisers.
If you are currently researching rehab centers and aren’t entirely sure of what to look for, keep these things in mind:
- Does the facility hold an accreditation?
- Is the staff licensed and formally educated in treating substance abuse disorders?
- How long as the center been in business?
- Can you confirm the physical location of their facility?
- Does the website of the facility appear to be “generic” or “shady?”
- Do they care more about clinical care or the amenities they offer?
- Have they offered to assist you in obtaining health insurance?
- Can they answer all of your questions clearly and directly?
Remember, this is your life! If you are unsure about certain things, ask questions and do your research. For more information about unethical treatment providers, check out this article.
We applaud Google’s decision to ban paid advertising and place life before profit. This move opens the door to solution-based practices, giving millions the opportunity to receive the quality of care that is needed to treat addiction; therefore becoming another tool in combatting the addiction epidemic across America.
Contact Clearbrook Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, help is available! By providing a medically supervised detox, coupled with a full clinical component of treatment, Clearbrook Treatment Centers can offer you and your family solutions that work. With 45 years of experience in treating addictive diseases, we have had the pleasure of watching countless individuals rebuild their lives and restore their relationships. You can have that too!
If you are interested in coming to treatment today, please contact our Admissions Specialists. Let Clearbrook show you what recovery has to offer.