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Google blocks addiction keywords after investigators unearth money-making deals

01-12-18 Category: Addiction, Drug Addiction

Google blocks addiction keywords after investigators unearth money-making deals

The search giant Google has come into scrutiny sue to some malpractices. The global conglomeration is accused of taking exorbitant amounts as commission from intermediaries, also called “referral agents”, for directing traffic related to addiction and substance use treatment to their sites. These agents worked as helplines but clandestinely directed traffic to their patron webpages. Google is accused of raking in as much as £200 every time a user visited the website of the brokers.

Rescinding its profit-mongering ways, the IT major has currently blocked all traffic emanating from keywords such as “addiction”, “alcohol”, “rehab”, etc. With substance abuse a major problem across the globe, rehabilitation centers gain considerable traction if their sites rank high in SEO rankings. Although Google refuses to take money from agents in the United States where the practice is illegal, it’s a different scenario in Britain. Referral agencies were engaged actively to ensure that their website gained the top spot for addiction and rehabilitation-centric keywords. Sadly, websites that have top rankings are not necessarily the best. According to the Palm Beach County prosecutor Dave Aronberg, who conducted the probe, “the company that pays Google the most” gets the choicest rankings.

Intermediaries preying on innocent victims 

The nexus between Google and referral agents was unearthed in 2017 when undercover reporters approached Google executives for the new rehab and treatment center to be opened at Gloucestershire, and filmed the proceedings. This left no one in doubt that hefty commissions were being paid.

With such malpractices and deceptive people offering support, good rehab centers with trained staff and resources for treating addiction-related problems are left in the cold. Not only the patients but also the family spends considerable amount of time searching for the best treatment center. Considering the high cost of addiction care, most still want the best for their loved ones. When they are directed to sites functioning for profit, not only their hard earned money goes down the drain, but they also end up losing the opportunity to help their loved ones lead a drug-free life.

Managing drug addiction with appropriate care     

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the opioid epidemic has broken all previous records pertaining to mortality. A colossal 64,000 overdose cases were reported in 2016 caused due to prescription drugs and illegal drugs, which is double in a decade.

Drug addiction completely ruins one’s life. It is chronic disease characterized by behavioral issues, increased drug-seeking behavior, emotional turmoil, and deteriorated mental and physical health. It is also devastating for family and friends as they have to go through the rigmarole of searching for appropriate treatment centers and encouraging the patient to enroll. The family also has to partake in everyday struggles along with the drug seeker. However, the good news is that an excellent rehab center can make recovery possible and life simpler by taking off the load. According to CNN health, the best rehabs offer the following amenities:

  • Staff that is courteous, cheerful, firm and helpful and above all is fully trained in handling complex substance abuse cases.
  • Though group therapy is important, the mainstay of any good rehab is individual therapy undertaken by experienced psychiatrists and support team.
  • Facilities should take into account gender-specific needs. Women, for example, may require more privacy if she has been a victim of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Good rehabs should have a sound exit plan in place. It is essential that the person stays sober in the first few weeks after treatment when the temptation might linger. Reaching out and staying in touch through staff reminders or appointments for follow-ups are few ways to offer aftercare support.

Sovereign Health, a leading substance abuse and behavioral health treatment provider in the U.S., follows the best practices and offers higher chances of recovery by combining traditional clinical approaches with new modalities. The drug addiction treatment programs at our state-of-the-art centers include a wide range of holistic approaches like detox, medications, psychotherapies and other therapies. To learn more about our drug addiction treatment centers spread across the country, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with a representative.

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