In the midst of nationwide opioid epidemic, deemed a “public health emergency” by President Trump, Google has reinstated ads for alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation centers starting in July.
The news comes after Google suspended all rehab-related terms of advertising in September 2017 after it was discovered that a numerous amount of advertisements for the industry were deceptive and fraudulent to vulnerable treatment-seekers.
There will be an extensive vetting process for drug rehab advertisements to ensure that scammers no longer target the lucrative industry. Google has partnered with Portland, Oregon-based LegitScript to monitor and evaluate treatment centers in order to verify them for advertisements.
Beginning Monday, LegitScript will evaluate treatment centers based on 15 criteria, including license and insurance verification as well as criminal background checks. The vetting process is done in an effort to ensure that treatment centers provide “written policies and procedures demonstrating a commitment to best practices, effective recovery and continuous improvement,” according to LegitScript.
According to a statement on the website, LegitScript president and founder John Horton says his company expects to verify only about 20 to 30 treatment providers during the first three month of the program to assure the process is as effective as possible.
Being the largest online advertising system in the world, advertising on Google as well as a limited amount of verifications available makes applying for the vetting process worthwhile.