In light of his office’s investigation into an addiction treatment marketing company, Attorney General Bob Ferguson is urging Washingtonians to be aware of marketing websites that pose as neutral sources of information about addiction treatment facilities.
This week, Ferguson resolved a case against Recovery Worldwide, a private marketing company that operates several websites containing paid advertising for substance abuse treatment facilities. The company branded its websites as impartial resources to find “the right treatment center for you,” without clearly disclosing that much of their content was paid advertising.
In fact, when people called Recovery Worldwide for help finding treatment, they were routed to directly to sales representatives for substance abuse treatment facilities that paid Recovery Worldwide to forward calls to them, without any consideration for the consumer’s preferred location or treatment needs.
Ferguson’s complaint, filed in King County Superior Court, asserts Recovery Worldwide’s conduct violates the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
As a result of the Attorney General’s investigation, Recovery Worldwide is legally required to clearly disclose which of its online content is paid advertising, in addition to other changes.
Free, comprehensive information regarding addiction treatment in your area is available through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) at findtreatment.gov. For help finding treatment, call the SAMSHA hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).
“Anyone seeking addiction treatment deserves honest communication about their options,” Ferguson said. “Marketing sites may not have all the information people need to make a fully informed decision. Unbiased, comprehensive resources are available for those who need help.”
Source: Washington state Attorney General