Strangely enough, Google has restricted paid advertising through what they call the Adwords platform. This is for any advertisements related to a lot of drug an alcohol rehab services, and details about this restriction have still not been released by Google. Even certain keywords and combinations are not allowed and restrict trigger ads on Google Search and even YouTube’s Search.
When confronted about this issue a Google representative stated “The growing opioid crisis in the US has uncovered the complexity of the rehab services industry and the high risk of user harm by questionable players who are profiting from rehab services promoted via AdWords. In the interest of user protection, we have decided to take immediate measures while we further research the industry. As a first step, we’ll be restricting ads traffic for certain rehab-related user queries (starting with Search and YouTube Search). We are however looking into more robust, nuanced, and scalable means to ensure user protection while allowing good service providers to promote their business.”
Surprised? Well, George Fischer who is the Marketing Director for Advanced Recovery Systems and the one responsible for it’s networks, fully supports this decision. He stated “We fully support the actions of Google to protect consumers from unscrupulous companies looking to take advantage of this highly vulnerable population. It is time consumers are provided with transparent and truthful information to appropriately identify high-quality addiction treatment providers. We are hopeful this signals the end of deceptive marketing in our industry.”
This is something that is greatly overlooked in the mainstream media. With the number of addicted individuals rising, the number of people looking to bank off their time of weakness is too. It is far too easy to open a treatment center and begin taking in innocent people who are only trying to recover, pump them with nonsense provided by your state government, get them clean for 30-90 days, and ship them off without any care at all what happens to them afterwards.
Interested in this topic? Check out this article Should The Whopping $35 Billion Rehab Industry Prepare For A Disruption?
With the growing epidemic, more insurance companies have opted to pay for treatment. Sounds like a positive step towards demolishing the plague of addiction, but that simply isn’t the case. Not only do the companies pay for the insurance, but they negotiate for it. Meaning that rehab centers must negotiate pricing depending on coverage. This leads to one thing, terrible care. While most people working in the rehab industry are in because they want to make a difference, there are some that are not. And to add to that, leaders and coaches that know what they’re doing cost good money and rightfully so. But with insurance companies negotiating prices, the budget for staff shrinks, as does the chances of life-long recovery for anyone entering the building.
The fact that Google is actually doing something is very promising for the future of millions. This industry needs to be taken for what it is, it needs to be exposed, and more big-name companies should be taking action against the mistreatment of addicted individuals. The best thing you can do is your research. There are foundations like Betty Ford (which is an out of pocket center), that are in it for the greater good. Look for centers with Alumni programs, look for personal long-term success stories, and most of all look to see how it is funded.