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When there’s a problem, a question that needs to be answered or a skill that needs to be learned, the first place many of us turn is Google. It’s no surprise that most people seeking addiction treatment also turn to Google in order to find the help they need. However, with the increase in fraudulent treatment centers and addict brokers, Google is restricting its advertising platform – Google AdWords.

Rehabilitation centers frequently use Google AdWords to attract people searching for words like “rehab” and “detox” and geo-target their ads for further visibility. In order to weed out misleading treatment center advertisements, Google now prohibits the ability to buy ads that appear when someone searches for the terms “drug rehab” and “alcohol treatment centers,” two of the most popular searches for this topic.

Just like when the world’s largest search engine limited ads for payday lenders, they’re now limiting advertisements for addiction treatment centers. According to a Google representative, “We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision.” This may be a positive step towards helping people find quality treatment centers, not ones that want their money while providing little to no treatment services.

Addiction treatment has become a $35 billon industry, according to the New York Times, and with the ongoing opioid crisis, the industry won’t be slowing down any time soon. While many treatment providers seek to help those who need it, unfortunately there are others who only want to make a profit from desperate people in need — making tens of thousands of dollars from someone entering residential treatment for 30 days.

If you’re searching for a treatment center for you or a loved one, it’s important to extend your research outside of the internet. Call the facility, see if you can visit in person and get a tour, talk to people who have received treatment there, ask for recommendations from people you trust, etc. When you are looking at websites, check for important certifications and accreditations, like CARF.  If you’re wondering what other things you should look for in a treatment center, we’ve provided useful tips in another blog post!

If you or someone you love needs help for an addiction, call the New England Recovery Center at (844) 233-6372.  We are here to help whenever you need it.

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