Google Bans All Addiction Rehab Ads Globally Due to Abuse

Google has temporarily banned all advertising by addiction rehab centers around the world while it figures out how to combat the problem of shady rehab operators gaming its AdWords system to direct people to substandard treatment facilities.

Abuses include the payment of referral fees, “hijacking” the names of respected rehabs to direct people to knockoff facilities, displaying legitimate rehabs’ 800 numbers but connecting them to sham operations, sending people to expensive far-off facilities when better services were available closer to home, supposedly “unbiased” directories with financial ties to certain centers, and more.

The problem is particularly acute because many people are in a rush to find a treatment center and rely on Google rather than getting a referral from a primary care facility.

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