When you Google “addiction treatment,” 12.8 billion search results are returned. Narrow your search to “addiction treatment near me,” and you’ll only have 688 million links to comb through. A little overwhelming, right?
Granted, more than 25% of users click the first search result.1 But for those urgently looking for help with addiction and substance use disorder, sifting through all those search results is complicated and, frankly, scary. Fortunately, Google’s addiction treatment resources help make searching for substance abuse guidance much easier.
What are Google’s Addiction Treatment Resources?
Google is an excellent place for anyone to start when they need addiction treatment. But the vastness of this search engine can be overwhelming, especially for someone in desperate need of treatment. To solve this problem, Google launched Recover Together in 2019 to make accurate information about the recovery process more readily available.
Recover Together aggregates Google’s best addiction treatment resources into one trustworthy hub. That trustworthiness is important—with the sheer volume of data on the internet, and ill-intentioned people willing to take advantage of those struggling with substance use disorder, it can be all too easy for bad actors to prey upon those in need of help.
In 2017, Google proactively took a stand to curtail dishonest and predatory scammers taking advantage of the vast digital real estate to make false claims and advertise fake addiction treatment centers. Temporarily halting all paid advertising around addiction and substance use disorder treatment keywords, Google embarked on the vital work of creating their own addiction treatment resource.
Today, legitimate addiction treatment centers looking to advertise on Google must first undergo a vetting process and obtain a LegitScript certification. Google remains steadfast in their commitment to only promote legitimate centers and accurate information.
How do Google’s Addiction Treatment Resources Help?
Recover Together works by dividing user needs into four main categories: Recovery, Treatment, Prevention, and Other Initiatives. Each category offers unique resources for patients and loved ones, depending on their needs.
The recovery portion of Google’s addiction treatment resources centers around support for maintaining a sober lifestyle. There are 23 million Americans recovering from numerous substance use disorders.2 This section aims to give them everything they need to remain in recovery and prevent relapse.
Google’s recovery map makes finding a recovery group in a patient’s immediate area more accessible. Users search by zip code to identify groups near them. And if there isn’t one close by, Google will suggest state and national organizations that can help.
Google works with Recovery Resource Hub to populate the map. If you notice your behavioral health center isn’t listed, email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your treatment center to the map.
For patients struggling to find the right recovery group, Recover Together suggests groups focused on a specific part of their lifestyle. Groups like this could include, but aren’t limited to:
- Black American meetings
- LGBTQ meetings
- Latinx or indigenous groups
- Non-native English-speaking groups
- Gender-specific meetings
- Military/veteran groups
- Faith-based meetings
- Speaker meetings
The recovery section offers practical advice for recovery and valuable insights about what to expect from meetings. Recover Together also encourages users to connect with a Facebook group maintained by the Voices Project, the veterans alcohol self-management program, and several Recovery-related podcasts. This section is a great resource to share with your patients and alumni as they move on from acute treatment or detox to the next stage of their recovery journey.
Recovery stories, a crucial part of many peoples’ recovery processes, are part of this robust section. And there’s also essential information for loved ones about how to support someone on their journey and how to advocate for the recovery movement at large.
Removing barriers to treatment and support services is critical to reaching people looking for help, and Recover Together makes finding treatment a little easier for those in need. This website features a government federally-managed screening tool to help patients and their families determine if treatment is the right path.
If treatment is the best option, Recover Together suggests another assessment to learn what type will work best. This brief, 13-question survey is a great way to match patients to the behavioral health services best-suited for their unique needs. In addition, using the “local support” dropdown menu to search their state will allow prospective patients to connect with treatment centers and resources in their area.
Recover Together also emphasizes the treatability of addiction. They help patients understand that addiction is a chronic brain disease they can learn how to manage with behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of both. These are encouraging messages to a person struggling with a substance use disorder who may have little or no hope of recovery.
But let’s not forget what’s at stake here—people’s lives. Because the opioid epidemic has become so deadly, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that naloxone be available to all patients at risk for opioid complications. Recover Together provides essential information about how and where patients can access this life-saving drug.
You know the numbers. One hundred thousand Americans died of an overdose between April 2020 and April 2021.3 Twenty million Americans are still addicted. Twenty-three million are in recovery. And thousands more are unaccounted for. How do we put a stop to all of this? Prevention.
One of the easiest and most effective prevention techniques is proper drug disposal. But unfortunately, few people realize that half of all people who misuse prescription drugs get them from a friend or family member.4 These exchanges appear harmless, a family member just wants to help with a backache or bad migraine. But this type of well-intended act can open the door to a full-blown addiction.
Recover Together lists drug take-back sites and encourages participation in national Take Back Day every April. Either option allows people to properly dispose of drugs in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
And if you want more information about how to throw your medication away, Recover Together features an informative video about the life cycle of a pill and shares why disposing of unused medicines responsibly is so important.
For many, simply understanding the risks of substance abuse and their impact is enough to keep them from using. Recover Together features many of these facts, most of which we’ve already covered, in an attempt to prevent drug abuse through education.
4. Other Initiatives
Google’s addiction treatment resources have a few additional initiatives in the works to help people prevent, treat, and recover from substance use disorder.
One initiative is the “Stand up for Recovery” map. This map shows how many people around the country are in recovery, actively assisting someone in recovery, or simply supporting the recovery movement. More than 18,200 people have stood up for recovery on this map.
Recover Together also partners with Red Ribbon Week to educate school-aged children about the dangers of drug use. Every October, this initiative hosts events in schools to prevent teenage substance abuse. Activities include a photo contest, organizing school-wide campaigns and tweeting at your favorite celebrity.
Another Recover Together initiative is working toward finding better drugs faster. Check out the video on their website to learn more about the work of a computational biochemist from the University of Southern California who’s developing an alternative, non-addictive treatment for pain management.
Google’s addiction treatment resources provide a wealth of knowledge to support your patients and their families. We appreciate and understand the value of resources like these. Schedule a strategy session with us at 888.307.7304 and learn how you can incorporate Recover Together into your digital marketing strategy.
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