You have to love a guy dressed up in surgical scrubs with a stethoscope trying to sell you addiction treatment services. You know, those seedy inpatient rehab facilities that claim they can self-police their own horrible, terrible marketing practices. As we noted in August , the rehab industry still needs federal oversight and regulation.
Tony also just happens to be a senior vice president at Pro Media Group. Why are there so many shell companies involved in this effort, all seemingly owned or run by the same people at Pro Media Group? We reached out to the company for comment, and our call was returned by their attorney who wanted to understand the type of article we were writing before the company would respond to our questions.
When asked about the multitude of companies, the attorney replied:. The Addiction Network offers an umbrella of products by being able to utilize the specific resources of multiple different companies. Soap Creative Services owns and maintains trademarks, intellectual property and copyright material and partners with the Addiction Network to license the use of this data.
Promedia and Winston Wolfe are third party advertising and consulting agencies that assist in the management of media and technology for the Addiction Network.
I decided to call the number that flashed on my screen during a TV commercial break one weekday evening earlier this month. The number connected me to Treatment Management Behavioral Health.
I called twice just to make sure I would get connected to the same referral service. Your number may be different in your commercials, depending upon your geographical location, and you may be connected to a different company. The company is part of an enormous rehab empire called Treatment Management Company that is apparently owned by Bryan Deering , according to The Verge: 1.
Company filings and court records reveal a tangled web of holding companies within blandly named holding companies, adding up to a multimillion-dollar rehab business, all tied together by an LLC called Treatment Management Company. It spans four states, and includes phone rooms, urinalysis labs, detoxes, and rehabs.
All of them are connected to one man, Bryan Deering, a millionaire who made his money in concrete. They also left a voicemail:.
We actually had a missed call from this number, someone called us twice and nobody said anything. Thank you very much and I hope you have a good night. As any first year graduate student in psychology can tell you, privacy and confidentiality are significant concerns of anyone seeking treatment services for a behavioral health or substance abuse issue. That is their right and is considered protected health information under the law. The person may have called from a shared home telephone number. Leaving identifying information could open the victim up to further, additional abuse.
Yet the person who I called back seemed entirely unaware or unconcerned about the issue. He just wanted his referral. Nowhere in the advertisement did it say that if you call that number and change your mind and hang up, they will automatically call you right back. I received a second call-back from the same addiction treatment referral company, this time from a woman. After I began suggesting to this person that calling a person back twice to check on their referral, they handed the phone over to Chris, the same guy who left the voicemail.
To me, this is very simple. Therapists and addiction treatment referral people should not make any assumptions about the people who contact them. And there is no relationship established just because I call your number and hang up. Assuming it is perfectly okay to contact someone who hung up on you without saying a word — and leave a voicemail message — is wrong. Doing it twice is doubly wrong. The lawyer did note they only work with Joint Commission-accredited facility — demonstrating quite clearly how little such accreditation means in the real world.
The Joint Commission does a horrible job of policing the addiction treatment industry. Everyone deserves better from the rehab and addiction treatment industry. Especially the people most at risk, watching these kinds of low-budget ridiculous TV commercials featuring a fake surgeon encouraging someone to get addiction treatment.
I know the industry means well — but it can do better. I encourage them to re-evaluate these kinds of practices. I encourage them to take into account that they are dealing with the lives of real people. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University.
Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here. Find help or get online counseling now. By John M. Grohol, Psy. Enter The Addiction Network. When asked about the multitude of companies, the attorney replied: The Addiction Network offers an umbrella of products by being able to utilize the specific resources of multiple different companies.
What Happens When You Call? Polite, right? But oh so wrong. The Ethics of Returning an Unknown Call for Treatment Services As any first year graduate student in psychology can tell you, privacy and confidentiality are significant concerns of anyone seeking treatment services for a behavioral health or substance abuse issue.
What Can Be Done? Psych Central. All rights reserved. Hot Topics Today 1. How to Stop Being So Controlling.