Detox of South Florida Supports Vetting Process of Drug Rehab Marketing Practices



Contact: Dr. Vikram Tarugu

Company: Detox of South Florida Inc.

Address: 608 NE 2nd Ave. Okeechobee Fl 34972

Contact Number: (863) 623-4923



Okeechobee, Florida, 6/18/18 Up until about a year ago, drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States were actively marketed on Google’s advertising platform (AdWords).

However, due to rampant abuse and deceptive marketing practices the global leader of “search” suspended all rehab centers from publishing adverts.

Google PPC restrictions on Rehab Centers
Google PPC Ads restrictions on Rehab Centers

However, according to an official statement from Google in April, 2018, rehab centers will be able to advertise once again (after being reviewed).  This time though, rehab centers, prior to running ads, will be required to undergo a stringent evaluation process.  Applicants, before receiving approval to run ads, will first need to be vetted by LegitScript (verification/monitoring service for online pharmacies).

This new vetting process is highly supported by both the medical community and recovery centers throughout the nation.  Detox of South Florida for example, an award-winning and top-rated recovery facility in Florida, recently made a statement that “Recovering addicts need to be provided with accurate information so treatment can be sought”.  Detox of South Florida went on to state that “Those seeking recovery need a reliable source for finding help. Treatment centers being vetted will help to ensure those struggling with addiction receive truthful guidance that will enable them to get the help they need”.

New Vetting Process Ensures Recovering Addicts Get Accurate Guidance

Rehabs can do Google PPC Ads Now
Rehabs can do Google PPC Ads Now

Interest in treatments for the abuse of prescription and illicit drugs are at an all-time-high as the country faces what many call the “worst” nationwide epidemic we’ve seen.  One of the greatest problems that began to emerge from such a crisis was scammers that began to use Google Ads to deceive those seeking treatment.  In a industry where regulations vary greatly from state to state it became easy for rehab center advertisers to defraud or misinform potential patients.

Back in September of 2017 Google finally realized that the problem has grown increasingly worse and decided to suspend all drug and alcohol rehab ads.  Millions of ads, ads promoted on their search engine and on third party sites (independent publishers using the AdSense program) were immediately removed.  This occurred just a week following a publication from “The Verge” that discussed the issue of rehab ads causing more harm than good.  Google took the issue very seriously and as a result suspended rehab related ads altogether.

Over the course of a year, the suspension of rehab ads impacted Google’s bottom line by about $78 million dollars.  For most companies and brands, setting up an ad campaigns on AdWords only requires a few simple steps to get through.  However, Google now employs a more stringent vetting process for not only rehab centers but for other sectors including locksmiths, drug manufacturers, online pharmacies, and garage-door repair companies.  Due to public pressure Google will also be requiring additional information from political managers that want to run campaign ads.

For addiction treatment ads the new rules will apply to not only in-person rehabilitation centers but also for support groups and crisis hotlines.

Vetting Rehab Centers – A “Good Idea” for both Rehabs and Patients

Dr Vikram Tarugu
Dr. Vikram Tarugu, MD.

Dr. Vikram Tarugu, an award-winning digestive health expert and founder of Detox of South Florida stated that “Rehabs wanting to promote their treatment services through Google’s ad platform should be more thoroughly vetted to ensure recovering addicts receive truthful information”.

Beginning now, LegitScript, the only monitoring and verification service recognized by the “National Association of Boards of Pharmacy” will work alongside Google in reviewing and processing rehab advertising applicants.  LegitScript will begin to review the criminal backgrounds of each applicant and will also check to make sure that the applying rehab has a valid operational license along with insurance (will be verified).

Of course, this vetting process is going to come at a cost to rehabs.  According to a statement released by LegitScript they will also be providing “written policies and procedures demonstrating a commitment to best practices, effective recovery and continuous improvement”.

So, what does all of this mean for rehabs?  Well, there’s going to be a one-time up-front charge of $995 with an ongoing annual vetting fee of $1,995.

John Horton, the chief executive officer of LegitScript stated that the “extra step may frustrate rehab centers”.  This precautionary step though will help those seeking recovery to find and receive the help they deserve.

Prior to the suspension Google made efforts to verify rehab centers although previously there was no “incentive” for rehabs to undergo thorough evaluations which involved a multi-part, in-depth questionnaire.

Evidently, legitimately licensed and established rehab centers will not be faced with a cumbersome process.  Back in September of 2017 Google said that it would soon publish a set of advertising guidelines for rehab centers and finally that time has come.  Of course, this statement was released only once the removal of rehab ads took place.  Dr. Vikram Tarugu (representing “Detox of South Florida”) spoke out on the new guidelines mentioning that the new guidelines will help to provide rehabs across the nation with a policy framework that will make it easier for legitimate recovery centers to get their treatments in front of those that need help the most.

Vetting Rehabs – What to know

Rehab centers play a vital role in the lives of patients that come to them for recovery.  Addiction is a serious matter and it’s paramount that recovering addicts are never mislead or taken advantage of.  As such, Google’s verification process will not only help rehabs to ensure their marketing practices are up to standards but will also help future patients to receive the help they need.

It’s a big step forward and it’s a positive move on Google’s part.  Addiction is a condition that millions of Americans struggle with and reliable treatment solutions are needed now more than ever. Moving forward, those struggling with overcoming an addiction can be confident that Google-displayed rehab ads are vetted, trusted, and reviewed.

All rehabs are going to undergo an extensive evaluation and must be properly licensed in order for ads to be approved.  Definitely a much-needed process and approach!

About The Company: Detox of South Florida is the Florida region’s leading rehab center with the best addiction treatment options. The rehab center employs qualified, experienced staff committed to patients’ recovery by providing 24/7 care and treatment. In Detox of South Florida patients enjoy a painless, smooth, and manageable detox process.


For more information, please visit or call (863) 623-4923.

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Meet Our Team

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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D. CEO

Gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.

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Dr. Muhammad Syed, M.D.

Doctor of internal medicine, C.F.O. He is Instrumental in the success of Detox of South Florida. He is known for his cheerful, ever happy and helpful attitude.

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Dr. Shilpa Tarugu, M.D.

Doctor of internal medicine, medical director, and Nursing Supervisor. She is known for her ethical practice and expertise in the various detox protocols and programs.

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Yolani Borato

Office Management

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Andrea Beckwith

Director of Admissions

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Nancy Cruz

Director of Operations

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