When you’re searching for help with a substance abuse problem, mental health issue, or both, the last thing you want to worry about is being scammed by deceptive drug addiction ads. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what was happening to countless addicts who clicked on Google rehab ads up until September 2017 – that’s when Google finally cracked down on fraudulent and misleading drug addiction ads in the United States.
Before Google decided to limit and regulate ads for drug and alcohol services, numerous spammers and unregulated online lead generation companies were engaging in high-stakes bidding for potential patients, people who were at their most vulnerable moment. As a result, scams designed to mislead vulnerable patients into clicking on ads for drug and alcohol services became common online.
Saying ‘No’ To Misleading Drug Addiction Ads
Prior to Google’s crackdown on fake drug addiction ads, people who would Google ‘addiction help’ were often lured into providing their personal information to companies that made money by selling ‘leads’ to unscrupulous treatment centers that usually offered little in the way of trusted addiction treatment services. While Google has always had a list of services and keywords that are ‘restricted’ (such as illegal drugs and illicit services), there was little restriction on advertising rehabilitation services or even, honesty in describing your location.
Not only was this practice unethical, but it was exploiting people who were desperate to seek treatment for their addiction and mental health issues. Complaints about misleading Google rehab ads had plagued the search engine giant for years, prompting Google executives to order a purge of nearly all drug addiction ads from their platform approximately one year ago. This massive sweeping move had only been seen in the bail bonds and pharmacy industry previously.
Once Google banned virtually all ads for drug and alcohol services from their then-titled Google AdWords program (now re-branded as Google Ads), the company worked to find a way to help people searching Google for addiction help with trusted addiction treatment centers.
Google Partners With Legit Script To Protect Patients
Google’s ban on misleading drug treatment ads started over a year ago in the U.S. and was applied globally on the search engine platform in January 2018. Google representatives “pledged to keep the ban in place until it could find a way to reintroduce ads safely and ethically, and it has taken its time doing so“, reported Devin Coldewey of TechCrunch.
True to their promises, in April 2018, Google announced that U.S.-based drug addiction ads on Google could only be posted by advertisers who had completed a rigorous vetting process through LegitScript, an industry leader in online consumer protection. This Oregon-based company was already screening online pharmacies under their LegitScript pharmacy program, and they have extensive experience in fraud detection and prevention in the financial and telemedicine industries.
Meeting the High Standards Set by LegitScript
The LegitScript certification standards are exceptionally tough, and that is something we’re proud to be compliant with here at FHE Health. In order to become one of the select few LegitScript certified trusted addiction treatment centers, we had to meet the 19-item LegitScript Addiction Treatment Provider Certification Standards, some of which include:
- Verification of our business registration and compliance with all relevant state licensing requirements
- Maintaining an accurate and transparent website
- Review of our FHE policies and procedures to ensure that all treatments and therapies offered are safe, effective, and continuously reviewed
- Confirmation that our FHE staff members have the appropriate credentials needed to deliver addiction and mental health services
- Criminal background checks on the LegitScript applicant and all key staff members
- Verification of current insurance coverage to operate an addiction treatment facility
- Compliance with legal, ethical business practices that do not deceive, manipulate, or defraud patients and/or prospective patients in any way
- Unlimited access to the FHE facility for on-site inspections by LegitScript representatives
We support the decision that Google has taken in protecting vulnerable patients and their loved ones against exploitation by scammers. We are happy to take on the added responsibilities and expenses that come with being a LegitScript certified service provider.
LegitScript Certification Now Covers Facebook Ads As Well
Following the successful rollout of the Google partnership with LegitScript, Facebook also announced that they would only accept ads on their platform from LegitScript-verified addiction service providers. This critical step will make it even tougher for fraud artists to take advantage of addicts on the most trafficked social platform. It will also make it easier for people struggling with addictions and mental health to get the help they need.
Proud to be a LegitScript-Certified Trusted Addiction Treatment Center
Here at FHE Health, we are fully committed to safety, transparency, and ethical behavior. That’s why we are proud to be among a select group of LegitScript service providers that offer trusted addiction treatment services.
To learn more about our customized, cutting-edge treatments and therapies for drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD, eating disorders and other mental health issues, contact us at 1-866-319-3881 or complete our online contact form today. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you get well.