Review Sites Have Deep Ties to the Rehabs They Promote

Source: theverge.com

The world is experiencing a dark age once again. However, this times around the darkness envelopes our habitat in the form of drug abuse. What with the increase in the use of drugs like opium, we are facing a crisis whereby our future generations are much more prone to falling prey to the gruesome evil of addiction than ever before. More and more people are now concerned with finding maximum information about the kind of drugs that exist in their society, the effects of those and the ways to counter that abuse. If you search the internet right now, you will come across some famous rehab centers that are scoring the charts. You might think this is because of their excellent treatment facilities. However, here is the plot twist: it is not so. These rehab centers have special contracts with social media companies and search engine sites that boost their ranking in the results.

According to a search conducted by The Verge, Rehab Review and The Fix are controlled by Cliffside Malibu founder Richard Taite, while Addiction Unscripted in owned by the marketers of Wayward and promoted by Mark Zuckerberg’s facebook. So when you search for such facilities, the immediate options that come up are not necessarily the best ones only: the chances are that they have a deep connection with the reviewing site you are using.

The Fix started off as a site that presented feature writing, videos, news and reviews of rehab centers. It originally initiated when its parent company declared bankruptcy and the website was sold to Clean and Sober Media LLC. Taite owned Clean and Sober Media. It also bought the Rehab Review later on in 2014.

The disclaimers may include various cautions and warning they indicate towards this deeply rooted relationship of rehab owners and rehab review sites, however none of them clear-cut share the information regarding the ownership.

There goes on much more subtlety planned advertising and promotions employed to capture your attention and interests. Rehab Reviews entitles itself as “The World’s Largest and Most Trusted Resource of Rehab Reviews.” However, the picture that greets the visitors redirects the person to a splendid review of Cliffside Malibu.

Joe Schrank, one of the original owners of the former company that The Fix is a product of, feels strongly that such a marketing model has serious adverse effects on the visitors who refer to these platforms in search for appropriate guidance and treatment. He refers to such marketing models as being “scummy and misleading.”

There did come a time when the survey for Cliffside got a pinch as well. The chronicled, staff-composed review of Cliffside Malibu from 2012 gives the center four stars. It claims that it is very positive all through. However it also mentions few drawbacks. Initially, the review featured the “top-notch staff,” but also mentioned that the “medicinal specialists utilized for calls or counsels were just ‘fairly accommodating,’ and sometimes look as if they’ve recently dropped by after early lunch.
‘I didn’t feel the affection,’ said one graduate.”

Such reviews caused much confusion and apprehension amongst the visitors who visited this site looking for reviews regarding this rehab facility.

After Clean and Sober Media assumed control, the review was first given an awe-aspiring five stars and afterward changed to read: “Despite the fact that there are no live-in specialists, the on-duty doctors are extremely concerned, non-conservative, non-judgmental, accommodating, receptive to patients’ needs. One alumni who experienced detox five times before coming to Cliffside said it was the best detox encounter he’d had—and in particular, he hasn’t required it since.”

Addiction Unscripted’s now non-existent directory took things a stride further. On any posting that didn’t include one of its reviews, it displayed the treatment center’s details such as the name and location, but with Addiction Unscripted’s telephone number, and no one visiting the site would know that the number they are about to dial would be directing them to a marketing hotline.

Such a sad state of affairs has led many influential people to speak up and suggest that such scams and misleading reviews should be tracked and eliminated immediately, not only because they are black holes in place of respectable journalism but also because it is our moral duty to provide help to the much-distressed lot in finding solace with a worthy rehab center and lifelong solution to this painful problem of addiction.

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