PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LegitScript, the leader in merchant and advertiser certification and monitoring in the e-commerce and payment sectors, has launched a new certification program for drug and alcohol addiction treatment providers. Starting in July, advertisers of drug and alcohol treatment services in the United States, including providers of in-person addiction treatment, mutual support groups, and crisis hotlines, will need to be certified by LegitScript before they can advertise through Google AdWords.
LegitScript’s CEO, John Horton, said that the new program is necessary to help patients distinguish between effective, evidence-based, and compassionate drug and alcohol treatment services, and fraudulent drug and alcohol treatment centers that take advantage of patients’ recovery efforts and insurance billing opportunities. “Drug and alcohol addiction devastates individuals and families, robs youth of their futures, and is a leading cause of death in the United States,” Horton said. “Some fly-by-night treatment centers put profits ahead of patients, providing substandard treatment or no care at all. We want to ensure that patients are afforded the opportunity for quality treatment.”
“We work to help healthcare providers — from doctors to hospitals and treatment centers — get online and connect with people who need their help,” said David Graff, senior director, global product policy, Google. “Substance abuse is a growing crisis and has led to deceptive practices by bad actors. This is a complex issue but we believe our partnership with LegitScript is a great first step in the US to help better connect people with the treatment they need.”
This new certification program has the support of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), and The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).
“Our nation’s current addiction crisis demands comprehensive and innovative solutions,” said Creighton Drury, President of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “People don’t know where to go for help and need more trusted resources to turn to. That’s why we are supporting LegitScript and Google’s efforts to ensure that people searching for treatment for themselves or a loved one aren’t vulnerable to predatory businesses seeking to profit off their suffering.”
“NAATP is pleased to support a program that will both protect the consumer and allow the high-quality ethical provider the visibility it deserves,” said Marvin Ventrell, Executive Director of NAATP.
“Since our work with Google began in 2014, we’re consistently impressed by their corporate responsibility around the opioid issue, and their willingness to change and evaluate what can best help families who seek information and resources around substance use,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, Chief Policy Officer of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Google’s new partnership with LegitScript is further evidence of their commitment. We know that the families we work with — and their loved ones who are struggling with addiction — will benefit from this conscientious vetting and due diligence. To the extent that we can point parents toward legitimate treatment centers and protect them from predatory ones, right from the start of their search, the better the chances of their child finding recovery.”
CASA, NAATP, the Partnership, and other entities to be determined will form an advisory committee to LegitScript for this certification program. The committee will ensure the continuous improvement and accountability of LegitScript’s program, and as leading experts will keep LegitScript informed about new trends and challenges.
LegitScript’s certification and monitoring program for regulated healthcare merchants, such as internet pharmacies and telemedicine providers, is already recognized by Google as well as other intermediaries such as Visa, Mastercard, Facebook, and Bing.
To learn more about Addiction Treatment Certification, visit legitscript.com/addiction.
Since 2007, LegitScript has been committed to making the internet and payment ecosystems safer and more transparent. Offering industry-recognized certification programs and the world’s largest database of internet pharmacies, dietary supplements, designer drugs, and other health websites, LegitScript has created a team of leading experts in these highly regulated and complex sectors. That’s why LegitScript is trusted by the world’s leading search engines, payment providers, and e-commerce platforms to monitor health and other high-risk websites. For more information, visit legitscript.com.