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How Some Rehab Centers Exploit Addiction

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How Some Rehab Centers Exploit Addiction

Written by Genesis Recovery

When you’re searching for a rehab center, you’re probably thinking about many different details: what program best fits your needs, what the rehabilitation process is like, and how long your treatment will last. You might spend a considerable amount of time learning about different types of treatment programs and the behavioral therapies which counselors use in addiction recovery facilities. At the same time, you might be thinking about the cost, whether the organization is accredited, and the treatment center’s success rates. There’s so much to consider. But as you search for the right treatment facility, you can’t forget about a rehab center’s ethics.

Not every rehab center is worthy of your trust. Many addiction recovery facilities exploit addiction. Here at Genesis Recovery, we believe that rehab center scams are the last thing you should have to worry about when you’re trying to get help for substance use challenges.

How to Avoid Unethical Treatment Programs

To help you avoid these scams, we’ve put together a guide explaining some of the many ways unethical rehab centers exploit addiction.

Misrepresenting Services

One of the most common ways rehab centers exploit addiction is by misrepresenting their services. When you’re serious about recovering from substance use challenges, you need to enroll in a treatment facility that can meet your specific recovery needs. What you don’t need is a rehab center saying they have experience in treating your substance use disorder when they don’t. You also don’t need to enroll in a center that misrepresents the credentials of their clinical staff. Other common aspects of addiction treatment that are commonly misrepresented include:

  • Insurance providers they accept
  • Amenities
  • Location (i.e. how close to or far away they are from a certain city or landmark)
  • The state of their facilities

So be sure to double-check all of these details before you enroll in any program that a rehabilitation center provides.

Enticing Potential and Current Clients

addict walking out of drug rehab

Unethical rehab centers may also try to entice potential clients to enroll in one of their treatment programs through offers and deals. Some treatment facilities might attempt to lure you to join their programs with a free flight or gifts. You should also know that some treatment facilities may try to woo you to stay with them (or switch from another addiction recovery center) through:

  • Money giveaways
  • Discounts
  • Non-standard amenities

There is nothing wrong with rehab centers helping you find sober living or coordinating flights or transportation for you or even providing you with food if you’re in an addiction recovery session or meeting. However, you should always watch out for rehab centers that entice you rather than help you gain independence and long-term sobriety.

Remember, an ethical rehab center’s primary goal is to empower you to rehabilitate and gain control of your life, not to rely on the recovery center for the rest of your life.

Violating Patient Privacy

When you enroll in a rehabilitation center, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPPA, protect your health information, treatment plan, and any diagnoses you receive. But some rehab centers will use your health information in a sales or marketing context without your consent and without a medical need to do so.

There is nothing wrong with a treatment center asking you for a testimonial, but rehab centers have no right to use your personal information as an attempt to gain more clients.

Over-Billing Insurance Companies

Some rehab centers bill your insurance company unnecessarily. This over-billing is often done behind the scenes, but you might pick up on it if a treatment facility provides you with services more frequently than originally discussed in your treatment plan. This happens often with urine drug screens, for example. In these cases, rehab centers may conduct a series of unnecessary drug tests, then bill the insurance company for each test.

You can prevent this kind of exploitation by knowing the details of your treatment plan and curriculum. If your plan of care states that you’ll have a weekly drug test, make sure the test happens weekly, not every 2 or 3 days. If your recovery treatment plan changes, your care team should tell you about the change and explain why it’s recommended.

Other Rehab Centers Red Flags You Should Know

Some other ways rehab centers might exploit addiction include:

  • Paid directory listings. Rehab directories can be helpful tools during your initial research. But you should always be cautious when using them. While many directories are legitimate, some of them work with brokers to lure potential clients from one treatment center to another.
  • Sobriety guarantees. No recovery center can give you a 100% guarantee that you’ll be sober in 30, 60, or 90 days. Addiction recovery is an individual journey that’s based on several different factors. While sobriety is the goal of every rehab center, an honest provider will never claim a 100% success rate. Look for a treatment facility that offers a strong program and has licensed staff, especially certified addiction treatment professionals. You should also seek out a rehab center that will provide you with services and support even after you complete the facility’s treatment program.

Addiction Treatment You Can Trust

Here at Genesis Recovery, we provide legitimate care, including:

We won’t entice you to stay when we know you’re ready to live a sober, thriving life. We provide addiction treatment you can trust. Our primary mission is to help restore lives broken by addiction. We’re here to see you thrive, not exploited. Contact us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction challenges.

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