Addiction Rehab Center Integrity Check: How to Spot a Sales Pitch

by Bill Maher

Some of the ads you see are referral services which are paid to refer patients.

In your search for addiction treatment, you might encounter people who are happy to help you find a the right rehab center.

But these ‘addiction counselors’ are actually sales reps who earn a commission for every patient they bring into a treatment center. These are the people you’ll speak to if you call the Free Addiction Helpline you see listed on a web page.

I’ve even seen these sharks in sheep’s clothing loitering in hospital emergency rooms, brochures in hand, ready to prey on the families of overdose patients with offers of free airfare, if only they’d sign on for the program they’re selling.

Is it a good fit for your loved one? They couldn’t possibly know. Don’t take their advice–or their plane ticket–even though it might sound tempting.

So, how can you be sure your addiction counselor is operating under a code of professional ethics that puts you and your family-member first?

Ask the following questions:

(Copy and paste these into the memo section of your phone so you have them when you need them.)

  1. Are you being compensated in any way by the treatment center you’re recommending?
  2. Are you employed by the parent corporation of the treatment center you’re recommending?
  3. Does the treatment center you’re recommending—or their parent company—sign your paycheck?
  4. Do you accept perks, goods, services or financial compensation in exchange for a patient booking?
  5. Who owns this rehab center? Do you recommend centers outside of this corporate umbrella?

The only people who can answer these questions with pure unbiased honesty are independent licensed or certified addiction counselors and certified interventionists. I am one of those certified interventionists and not to go all “salesy” on you, I want you to know we accept no money or perks from the treatment centers we recommend and we never will.

As members of a national network, we share up-to-the-minute information on country’s top recovery programs. This code of ethics assures you that the guidance you’re getting is in the best interest of you and your family.

Whether you are suffering or it’s your loved one, you want to save their life. It’s when you’re feeling desperate that you are most likely to be scammed. We are all vulnerable in this state of mind.

So when your brain is working at warp speed, slow down and ask these questions before you or your loved one is placed in a treatment center that is not reputable or the right one for the patient. This process is already hard enough and expensive enough without the burden of having been scammed or ending up somewhere that is more interested in the patient’s money than their recovery.

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Remembering Scott Neal Zebrowski

Published by

Bill Maher

Bill Maher CIP, CADC, ACI, BRI II is a person in long term recovery and a Certified Intervention Professional in Richmond, Virginia and currently writing a book on the subject of addiction and intervention.

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