October 3, 2018

Predatory hotlines run by firms that receive kickbacks for patient referrals. Generic websites that push patients looking for information to inappropriate resources. Poorly regulated providers that give unclear information despite good intentions.

Two prescription bottles overturned with blue and yellow pills spilling out on the table with a white background representing America's epidemic of prescription drug overuse.

These are among the marketing abuses and problems that patients seeking addiction treatment can face when trying to connect with providers, and the issue is under increasing attention as stakeholders focus on solutions to the opioid epidemic, experts told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Concerns about kickbacks and “body brokers” in addiction treatment are not new. A less-insidious form of marketing—incomplete and unclear information—is also common. Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, said the group has purged several organizations from its ranks in 2018 because they weren’t providing information to patients in a way that was up to par.

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