Tag Archives: Advertising

Tag Archives: Advertising


Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

The addiction industry is changing at a rapid rate, especially with the national opioid crisis. For the second year in a row the centers for disease control lowered the average life expectancy for U.S. citizens, due in large part to the number of overdose deaths from opioids. Here are trending topics to be aware of in addiction treatment.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is the use of FDA- approved medications to provide treatment of substance use disorders in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. Two commonly used medications are buprenorphine and naltrexone. As an abstinence based recovery center, Cumberland Heights prefers the use of naltrexone for a set period of time – usually a year – and then to transition patients off.

Ethics in the Treatment Industry

Ethics in the Treatment Industry

Due to the national opioid crisis the treatment industry has become a lucrative market for many private investors. So much so practices surrounding the recruitment of patients online have become more than suspect. To combat this Google recently stopped showing all AdWords for search terms like “drug addiction” and “alcohol treatment.”

Cumberland Heights CEO Jay Crosson sits on the ethics committee formed by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) to draft ethics requirements for treatment providers. NAATP hopes the new ethics guidelines will help patients and their families make better decisions when assessing and choosing a treatment provider.

The Cumberland Heights board of directors recently adopted a Code of Ethics. You can read about our deep commitment to the ethical implementation of addiction treatment and the principles we follow below.

At Cumberland Heights we are members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

 

As a promise to the people we serve, Cumberland Heights implements the following ethical practices:

  1. Our marketing efforts are based on awareness and engagement. We believe education is more valuable than fear. We use original content and never participate in predatory web practices. Our alumni have become our number one referral source because we provide quality care to our patients and continually cultivate relationships with them.
  2. In an effort to provide the best care possible, our goal is to thoroughly assess patients and their families as soon as possible. We employ exclusionary criteria to ensure our treatment program will meet the needs of entering patients. If a need is outside our scope of clinical excellence, we will help patients be placed in a reputable program suitable for their situation. We do not purchase or sell patient referrals.
  3. Relationships matter. We believe the entire family benefits from participation in the recovery process. There is no cost to our family program. We encourage all family members to get the education and support they need to begin recovery from addiction.
  4. We are transparent with our financial arrangements. We do not employ hidden fees. Our pricing is posted on our website. Our financial advisors are available to discuss out of pocket costs and estimates based on length of stay. Our financial forms are explicit. We refund any overpayments back to those who paid them and do not assess any admission or non-refundable deposits. You get what you pay for.
  5. Fiscal responsibility. To our donors we pledge to be good stewards with their gifts, applying them to their intended purposes. As a nonprofit, we are audited annually by outside certified public accountants and are subject to rigorous board oversight.
  6. Safe and loving environment. We strive to provide a quiet serene environment for recovery to take root. Our food is excellent and the various campuses are clean and well maintained. We treat patients and families with dignity and respect.
  7. The ultimate act of trust is when a clinician or referent asks us to provide care for their client. We will endeavor to collaborate with them to provide what is in the patient’s best interest throughout the continuum of treatment.
  8. We seek to hire the best people who are committed to our mission of recovery. Our clinicians also adhere to professional codes of ethics. We are not perfect. We try to take care of each other in order to provide better care for the people we serve, but if patients or their families have concerns we employ a Quality Management team built to monitor and improve our services. They may be contacted by calling (615) 352-1757 or emailing qm@cumberlandheights.org.
  9. We are committed to providing lifetime recovery opportunities to patients who complete our program. Patients are invited to a peer support aftercare group. We offer fellowship opportunities through our alumni services office. We have hundreds come back home to our annual staff and alumni picnic as well as monthly alumni activities.
  10. We are committed to abstinence based recovery. Recovery Care Advocates meet with patients during treatment and follow-up with them during the first year after discharge to guide their journey of recovery.

Again, we are committed to creating an environment where the people we serve can depend on us for the best treatment possible. Because we hope to strengthen our industry’s standard for treatment, Cumberland Heights has also adopted the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers Code of Ethics.

Google Curtails Addiction-Related Advertising – And Cumberland Heights believes it's a Good ThingGoogle recently sent a shock wave through the addiction industry when it eliminated advertising for many addiction-related search terms it determined were ripe for fraud.

I join many in our industry in applauding this decision. Here is the statement by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals (NAATP).

I’ve been involved in a number of quality initiatives with NAATP and other industry associations the last few years. One of our priorities has been the rise of disreputable and even fraudulent marketing that is preying on vulnerable people and their families.

The most egregious violators are third-party companies who collect leads online and sell them to treatment centers. They do not have treatment facilities and have no vested interest in the treatment outcome. They are not members of the national organizations like NAATP, accredited by the Joint Commission or licensed by state bodies.

They only care about finding potential patients who have insurance so they can sell them for the highest amount to the highest bidders.

These companies have mastered online marketing, including Google AdWords and SEO, and, in many markets, have taken market share from reputable treatment centers.

I believe Google’s action will have a profound effect on these companies.

This may sound like a strong statement, but no reputable treatment center should ever purchase leads from third-party aggregators. Human beings suffering from the disease of addiction have complex problems and deserve more than being a line on a spreadsheet.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Cumberland Heights also uses AdWords to find potential patients. It’s necessary in today’s market where lots of private investment is rushing to cash in on the $35 billion addiction industry.

At the same time, we want to make sure we use AdWords the right way. I’m proud of our leadership for recently adopting a Code of Ethics, the first line of which reads:

Our marketing efforts are based on awareness and engagement. We believe education is more valuable than fear. We use original content and never participate in predatory web practices. Our alumni have become our number one referral source because we provide quality care to our patients and continually cultivate relationships with them.

Since our founding in 1966, Cumberland Heights has been a place of hope and healing. Our Code of Ethics and marketing will always reflect these principles, the way our founders would have wanted.


Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights

Jay Crosson is the CEO at Cumberland Heights, a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center in Nashville, Tennessee. Cumberland Heights was established more than 50 years ago and Crosson’s experience there has spanned half that time.

Jay is a member of the board for the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), and is chair of the ethics committee.

Jay is a grateful recovering alumnus of Cumberland Heights. His personal experience of treatment at Cumberland Heights and the transformative power of the 12 Steps shape his leadership principles today.

Original Article By: MICHAEL CORKERY, NY Times
Date: SEPT. 15, 2017

As drug addiction soars in the United States, a booming business of rehab centers has sprung up to treat the problem. And when drug addicts and their families search for help, they often turn to Google.

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety

But prosecutors and health advocates have warned that many online searches are leading addicts to click on ads for rehab centers that are unfit to help them or, in some cases, endangering their lives.

This week, Google acknowledged the problem — and started restricting ads that come up when someone searches for addiction treatment on its site. “We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision,” Google spokeswoman Elisa Greene said in a statement on Thursday.

Google has taken similar steps to restrict advertisements only a few times before. Last year it limited ads for payday lenders, and in the past it created a verification system for locksmiths to prevent fraud.

In this case, the restrictions will limit a popular marketing tool in the $35 billion addiction treatment business, affecting thousands of small-time operators.

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety

“This is a bold move by one of the world’s biggest companies, saying people’s lives are more important than profit,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction, a nonprofit group that is an advocate for people struggling with addiction.

Many rehab centers, a large number of which are clustered in warm climates like Florida, Arizona and California, rely on Google searches to attract patients from across the country. Their strategy often included buying an ad that would come up when someone searched for phrases like “drug rehab” or “alcohol treatment centers.”

Google Sets Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads

As of this week, Google has stopped selling ads related to those searches, although it may lift the restriction if it can find a way to weed out misleading advertisements.

Search ads for addiction treatment are lucrative. Treatment providers, in some cases, have been willing to pay $70 per ad click, according to an analysis that Mr. Williams’ group conducted and presented to Google executives.

But the payoff for those clicks can be significant. Addicts who sign up for 30 days of residential treatment can bring in tens of thousands of dollars from private insurance.

The crucial, if unwitting, role that Google has played in the treatment industry exposes the deep flaws in how drug addicts are cared for in America. Despite the rapid growth in the number of addiction cases — and the Trump Administration’s declaration that the opioid crisis is a national emergency — the treatment industry remains a hodgepodge of upstart businesses, with only a few well-known providers.

What constitutes treatment is also all over the map, from yoga and equine therapy to daily doses of medication. And unlike other serious illnesses, like cancer or heart disease, where a physician typically refers the patient for treatment, many addicts and their families look for help on the internet.

That has made Google one of the largest referral sources for treating a disease that affects millions of Americans. And the companies willing to the pay the most for ads are the one that addicts are most likely to see on their search.

But ad-driven searches, according to advocates and law enforcement officials, have not always led patients to the best care. In some cases, they have found that patients are being duped, a phenomenon Google on Thursday acknowledged.

Last December, a Florida grand jury released a report detailing abuses in the state’s addiction treatment industry, which is centered around Palm Beach County. Among the findings, the grand jury zeroed on the problems with how some of the shoddy programs were being marketed online.

One witness, according to the grand jury report, described how “online marketers use Google search terms to essentially hijack the good name and reputation of notable treatment providers only to route the caller to the highest bidder.”

Another common trap: Addicts search Google for a rehab program close to their home, but they will click on an ad for a referral service pitching treatment in another state. The referral service then collects a fee, if they signed up.

Google’s restrictions were cheered by health officials, who have called for more medically based treatment. “People don’t always know what good treatment is,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was surgeon general in the Obama Administration and published a oft-cited report last year that warned of the nation’s addiction crisis. “I am glad Google took steps to prevent the spread of these false ads.”

In targeting the ads for addiction treatment, Google consulted with experts including Mr. Williams, who himself has been in recovery for many years. He said he began discussions with Google executives around the time that Dr. Murthy released his report.

Mr. Williams said that he had explained to Google that his own experience trying to buy ads from the company had illustrated how the process of finding information about addiction treatment online was providing people with unreliable information. Mr. Williams said he discovered this when his group received a grant from Google that would help him buy ads promoting a website providing information about community based treatment — and found he couldn’t compete.

Buying ads on Google involves bidding to place your ad at the top of the search results when a user types in words relevant to your product or service. But Mr. Williams found that the bid prices for words related to treatment had gotten so expensive that his group couldn’t pay as much as the for-profit treatment providers. Some of those treatment providers, Mr. Williams told Google, were not only misleading, they had been charged with crimes.

In a series of phone calls and a meeting in Washington, D.C., Mr. Williams presented the company his research. He highlighted that some of the biggest buyers of ad words related to treatment had been accused of misdeeds related to insurance fraud and sexual assault.

“We stumbled upon this issue organically,” said Mr. Williams. “And they heard us out.”


A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2017, on Page B5 of the New York edition with the headline: In Rare Move, Google Imposes New Limits on Addiction Treatment Ads, Citing Safety.

Recovery is Possible

Recover Life.

Secure Contact: Confidential Email Form

Call Today: 800-646-9998

Stay in the Know

Signup for Emails

Get Confidential Help from Cumberland Heights Treatment Center

FOR A CONFIDENTIAL ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.

* Required Field

×

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

×