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Unethical addiction advertising & LegitScript certification

The reasons behind LegitScript Certification for drug and alcohol treatment centers

In the current world, it’s important to remember that  your client is only one click away

The opioid epidemic has spread like a contagious disease, much faster than the growth of the drug and alcohol treatment facilities itself. In desperation for substance abuse treatment, the government has encouraged faster growth by leaving this industry largely unregulated. In the absence of strict control, the industry became a type of a  wild west during the gold rush, aided by unethical online advertising. Before LegitScript, PPC ads could misrepresent the products, services, and more. Some “treatment centers” were not concerned with helping individuals with substance abuse disorders get proper treatment, only making money, and they were among the most aggressive PPC advertisers. They had no interest in or ability to treat addiction, only filling in beds, so they could bill the insurance companies and/or the families of addicts. They brought them into clinics where they did little more than test their urine unstoppable and bill insurance companies/patients repeatedly, turning the problems of addicts into billable fortunes. It was soon common for clinics and labs to charge more than $4,000 per simple test, and to test clients two or three times a week.

What Is LegitScript?

LegitScript provides the only certification service for drug and alcohol addiction treatment providers that are required for PPC advertising on Google, Bing, and Facebook. 

Addiction Treatment Certification is an important service from LegitScript for providers of drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Who Legit Script  Addiction Treatment Certification applies to:

  • In-Person Addiction Treatment (Google, Bing, and Facebook): Any website, application, or merchant that provides information about in-person drug or alcohol addiction treatment, or facilitates in-person or online drug or alcohol treatment, other than at a private residence or non-clinical setting.
  • Mutual Support Groups (Google, Bing, and Facebook): Any website, application, online forum, or merchant that does not offer treatment for drugs or alcohol, but that facilitates interactions between non-professional members engaged in recovery.
  • Crisis Hotlines (Google and Facebook): Any website, application, call center, chat feature, or telephone number that provides or purports to provide remote assistance or information to individuals who are in recovery or who are seeking information about addiction or addiction treatment, or to any person associated with such individuals, that does not identify particular treatment facilities or entities on the site itself.

How much does Legit script certification cost?

Depending on a number of unique facilities, the application fee per unique facility is from $1495. An annual fee of $1,995 per year per location applies as well. 

If you are an advertiser or an addiction treatment provider, what do you need to know?

  • You can apply for LegitScript Certification here.
  • Applications are processed in the order they are received. An expedited processing service is an option for applicants wanting to expedite the start of their application review.
  • Certification is required by Google, Bing, and Facebook. Once you are certified and approved by these platforms, you’ll be eligible to run ads.
  • You can’t just get certified and then drop out of the program: ongoing monitoring is required.

Can I apply for the Legot Script Certification if I operate a drug and alcohol treatment center outside the USA?

LegitScript certification only applies to the US market and the US market only with no anticipated date of LegitScript offering its certification to centers outside of the US. It’s unfortunate since there are plenty of great and ethical centers operating around the world, but they’re left with no choice but to seek other options to shore up additional admits outside the realm of paid placement options like Google, Facebook or Bing. 

If you’re operating a drug and alcohol treatment center outside the United States – you cannot apply for Legit Script certification and run PPC ads on Google, Bing, and Facebook in the USA.

Is PPC the only option for the drug and alcohol treatment center to succeed online? 

You do not need Legit script certification for your organic SEO, local SEO ,  Social Media Marketing, Email marketing, or Reputational marketing. On the other hand, it might mean that organic competition is high and you need to be a pro to achieve positive ROI (return of investment) with your online indevours that don’t require Legit Script certification. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing the likes of Google, Bing, and  Facebook is great, but in the case of Google, in particular, it can get outrageously expensive due to the competitive keyword bids in the addiction rehab industry. However, PPC is more of a sprint, and organic SEO is more of a marathon. In the end, the tortoise beats the hare (marathoner vs. sprinter) since research shows organic far outweighs PPC both in terms of targeted traffic potential and provides the strongest ROI in comparison. 

How to report an unethical  Addiction treatment facility? 

 If you want to report an unethical addiction treatment facility that violates Legit script Guidelines, please use this link. 



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