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NAATP Being Sued Over Limiting Access to Addiction Treatment Resources Online

We make it our business to stay up-to-date in our field of addiction treatment, not only so we can stay informed on effective methods of addiction treatment, but also to gain information about anything that may be affecting addiction and the field of addiction treatment. It has recently come to our attention that a lawsuit has been filed against the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).
American Addiction Centers (AAC) has filed a lawsuit against the addiction provider trade group, NAATP.

Who is AAC?

American Addiction Centers is a portfolio of addiction treatment services, as they own Recovery Brands, Rehab.com, and Recovery,org. American Addiction Centers (AAC) claims it’s devoted to finding the best treatment option for addicts and alcoholics, whether or not that be an AAC facility.

Who is NAATP?

The NAATP is the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, which is a resource provider for those seeking addiction treatment. The AAC is suing the NAATP as it claims the group improperly limits patient access to online treatment resources.

What Happened?

“AAC believes that while there is rightfully a great deal of attention being paid to addiction industry marketing practices, it’s critical that those seeking help for addiction can easily find treatment options online through directory websites like AAC’s websites rehabs.com and recovery.org.
AAC’s lawsuit alleges that NAATP and some of its member organizations have wrongfully attacked these websites for anti-competitive reasons. By mischaracterizing AAC and attempting to divide the industry into “good guys and bad guys,” we believe NAATP is harming patients. While there are indeed some organizations in our industry that don’t have the best interests of patients at heart, this is a minority of treatment providers. Reform of the industry should not be divisive, negative and anti-competitive. This disservices all with an interest in recovery – especially those looking for help” (AAC).
The AAC alleges the control of marketing channels in the addiction treatment industry is the NAATP’s attempt to aid its own member organizations, by blocking out other treatment providers. The AAC claims that these actions have been damaging for both the public at large, as well as their own American Addiction Centers corporation—hurting them in their marketability and finances.

The Complaint

In their complaint filed, American Addiction Centers claims the “NAATP has wrongfully tarnished not just AAC’s reputation but that of the addiction treatment industry as whole” (Case 3:19-Cv-00376).

More About the AAC and NAATP

The AAC is a member of the National Association of Behavioral Healthcare (NABH), which they claim is the most effective trade organization representing the addiction treatment industry. The CEO of American Addiction Centers also happens to be on the board of trustee’s as the treasurer of the NABH. The AAC brand owns website like rehabs.com and recovery.org, which contain directories that include not only American Addiction Centers facilities, but also non-AAC treatment centers who have limited marketing budgets— this provides hundreds of addiction treatment options that have benefited tens of thousands of people seeking treatment.
The NAATP (National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers) is a nonprofit corporation which has membership in excess of 600 treatment providers and over 930 treatment facilities. The 25-member board of directors for the NAATP is filled with not-for-profit organizations like the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Caron Treatment Centers, which the AAC alleges have benefited from and contributed to the NAATP’s “unlawful, unfair, defamatory, and tortious actions” against American Addiction Centers.

Marketing Practices in the Addiction Treatment Field

There is a fine line that exists when addiction treatment centers market their offerings to those seeking treatment. It is important when marketing addiction treatment, that you are empowering people seeking treatment to make informed decisions by giving them access to an array of treatment options— allowing those seeking treatment to compare options for themselves.
Marketing practices in the field of addiction treatment should never include patient brokering, misleading business listings or phone numbers. Trusted online directories are invaluable for those seeking treatment, as they should offer accurate information and maintain an unbiased approach when providing listings for the many addiction treatment options out there.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

“American Addiction Centers.” AAC the Truth, American Addiction Centers, aacthetruth.com/

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