Approximately 19.7 million adults in the United States struggle with some kind of addiction. Are you one of them? Interested in seeking help but unsure of where to look? Unfortunately, addiction rehab scams are more common than you might think. Read on for tips to help you to avoid them while searching for help you on your sobriety journey.
What Do Drug Rehab Scams Look Like?
The following are some examples of rehab scams that might show up when you search for treatment:
● Detox facilities touted as rehab programs, even though they only offer detox and no other treatments or resources
● Herbal remedies (pills, herbal supplements, etc.) that sellers claim will “cure” addiction
● Programs that guarantee success and promise patients will not relapse when they leave
Short-term rehab programs can also fall into the category of rehab scams. There are facilities that claim to treat addiction in a very short time frame (as little as two weeks in some cases). Most programs that have the highest success rates will take at least 1-3 months.
Many of these short-term facilities have “patient brokers” working for them. These individuals prey upon people who are seeking addiction treatment, often hanging out in social media groups or answering phones for addiction hotlines, and encourage them to seek treatment at a specific facility. The broker then receives a commission for each new patient they recruit.
A big problem with this model, in addition to its predatory nature, is the fact that most people who go through the programs don’t receive quality treatment and relapse after they’re discharged. This leads to a vicious cycle in which they relapse, seek help, are recruited by another patient broker, and end up at another subpar “treatment” facility.
While laws have been enacted over the last few years in states like Florida, New York, Utah, California, and Arizona, many of these programs are still operating throughout the country.
How to Avoid Rehab Scams
As you can see, there are lots of ways that you can potentially get scammed while you’re trying to recover. It’s important to be vigilant during your search to ensure you actually get the help you need and deserve.
Here are some tips that will help you to avoid rehab scams:
Look at Program Length
One of the most important things to consider during your search is the length of the program.
Remember, the average program lasts between one and three months. If a program is shorter than that, that’s a red flag. It takes a while for someone to begin to detox and get their recovery journey off to a good start, after all.
Choose Comprehensive Treatment
Ideally, your program will be comprehensive in nature. It should include more than just detox which, although it’s an important step, is only the beginning.
There should also be different types of therapy (individual, group, etc.) as well as the opportunity to receive physical care (including access to medications if needed) from trained medical professionals. Or, if the facility offers Medication-Assisted Therapy, (or MAT), they should provide you with resources to make your recovery more comprehensive.
Ask About Staff Qualifications
If you find a program that seems promising, research to learn more about the people who are running it.
What are their qualifications? What kind of education have they received? How long have they been part of this field? Is a medical professional associated with the practice? If you can’t find any information about them or their credentials, be wary of what they’re offering.
Be Wary of Homeopathic Treatments
Natural or homeopathic remedies aren’t inherently bad. If a program places too much emphasis on “all-natural” treatments or uses a lot of phrases like “getting rid of toxins” or “natural detox,” that can be a bad sign.
If you want to try a more holistic approach, look for a program that offers those options, but make sure it is run by licensed professionals. The program should also meet the other criteria on this list.
Beware of “Too-Good-to-Be-True” Promises
Finally, steer clear of any program that makes promises that seem too good to be true. No program, no matter how experienced its facilitators are, can guarantee that everyone who participates in it will get and stay sober. There’s simply no way to back up that kind of claim, and to do so is dangerous.
Avoid Rehab Scams and Get Help Today
There are rehab scams out there, but there are also plenty of legitimate programs that can help you to overcome your addiction and begin recovery. Keep the tips outlined above in mind and you will have an easier time finding a program that is a good fit for you.