Addiction Treatment Scams and the Need for Quality Website Content

Hands in a circle

An article released by The Verge in 2017, reads: 

Leasha Ali had been drunk for the last two days, but she didn’t want to be anymore. The 39-year-old math teacher and mother of two was in a spiral familiar to anyone who’s struggled with addiction. A difficult event – a hospitalization, thanks to lingering symptoms from a birth defect – had stressed her to the breaking point, and then she’d gotten home and found herself alone in her house, depressed and unable to sleep. After a few days without drinking, she gave in and spent the next 48 hours on a bender. 

On the second night, January 8th of this year, she got an email from the hospital. Her liver enzymes had been dangerously high – even before the days of abuse. The birth defect that put her in the hospital had already left her with several damaged organs. Afraid of hiring another, she searched the test results on Google. Right there at the top was an ad for rehab. 

The article goes on to say that Leasha called a phone number and was told that she would be receiving a referral. The operator took down all of her information, including her insurance ID number. The next morning, she got a call from a drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, and later that afternoon, she was on her way to the treatment center. 

When Leasha arrived in Florida, her hopes of spending a relaxing time surrounded by palm trees in a recovery-oriented atmosphere were dashed. She was transported to an old motel room that had three twin beds and one small chair in it. The facility was understaffed, ill-equipped to handle her medical issues and a far cry from what she had envisioned. 

Leasha had become the victim of a rehab scam. 

Addiction Treatment Admission Statistics

Addiction treatment is a booming industry; especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of people needing drug and alcohol rehab soared. 

According to the Vista Research Group

  • During the first week of the pandemic, retail alcohol sales went up by 54%. They continued to remain high throughout the next year. 
  • During May/June 2020, women reported consuming alcohol on 17% more days. 
  • They also reported experiencing 44% more days of heavy drinking than in the prior year. 
  • Between 2019 and 2020, drug overdose deaths increased by 23%. 

Also, more adults reported struggling with anxiety and/or depression too, which leads many to abuse substances to get relief from their symptoms. 

  • The percentage of adults reporting depression went from 7% in 2019 to 26% between April 2020-March 2021. 
  • 8% of adults reported anxiety in 2019, and that increased to 33% during the height of the pandemic. 
  • 11% of adults reported experiencing both conditions in 2019, and that increased to 38%. 

Google’s Role in Rehab Scams

It’s common for businesses to run Google ads to promote their services. But over the years, a growing number of drug rehab brokers have used the service to advertise fake rehab programs. The company that owns the program Leasha attended was spending more than a million dollars a month on Google ads. 

Many of these phony rehab facilities aren’t rehabs at all. Some encourage continued drug and alcohol use as a way to keep people addicted. “Patients” may not be allowed to talk with their families for weeks at a time, and some people have even died while attending these programs. 

Since this all took place, Google has cracked down on scammers. To receive Google ad certification, every rehab program must first get certified by LegitScript. This is a company that checks the validity of companies within this space. 

These new rules apply to rehab programs, crisis hotlines, and other companies offering addiction treatment services. 

Quality Website Content for Addiction Treatment Programs is Vital

Reuters has reported that Google makes around $78 million a year on drug and alcohol addiction treatment ads. But the reality is that for many people, their faith in ads has been shaken. Most will scroll down until they reach the organic content in the search results. 

But to rank for that organic content, your website has to meet certain parameters. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Content that is helpful for the reader and not just keyword-focused. 
  • Content that does include the appropriate keywords based on updated research. 
  • Backlinks offer greater authenticity and authority to the site. 
  • More information than what is being offered by competing rehab programs. 

Our Work with Drug and Alcohol Rehabs

At Colwell Creative Content, we have worked with some of the best substance abuse treatment programs in the United States. We’ve been writing web pages and blog posts for many of them for several years and we’ve gotten stellar results. 

We only work for quality, verified addiction treatment facilities or for companies that offer direct referrals to verified programs. These rehab centers must have: 

  • A physical address listed on its website. 
  • Information about staff on the site. 
  • Details of the program available for website visitors. 

It’s hard to say how many people have chosen to get help for their drug and alcohol addictions as a result of the web pages, articles, and blog posts we’ve written over the years. We hope many have and that we have done our part to assist them in getting the treatment they needed. 

If you are looking for addiction treatment website content writers, please contact us today. We know the industry very well and have a proven track record of success. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *