Over the past decade, addiction treatment centers have unfortunately experienced online advertising competition with scammers — illegitimate criminals posing as real treatment centers. With no safeguards in check, these entities used Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform and other online advertising tools to capture the attention of vulnerable and unsuspecting individuals seeking real treatment from rehab centers like yours.

In 2017, as these scams were on the rise, Google took a major step toward stopping these criminals by banning the most common and effective rehab and addiction treatment-related keywords from use in Google Ads. While this may have stopped many of those with nefarious intentions from reaching their intended audience, it also made it that much more difficult for competent, fully legitimate addiction treatment providers to make their presence and services known.

Fortunately, Google soon reopened its advertising doors to addiction treatment centers that could pass a rigorous verification process and obtain — you guessed it — LegitScript certification.

What Is LegitScript?

Founded in 2007, LegitScript is a company created to protect people seeking commercial services through the internet from malicious, cybercriminal intent. While it was originally formed to protect individuals from purchasing counterfeit pharmaceuticals, LegitScript’s work quickly expanded to providing certified and verifiable safeguards within the addiction treatment industry.

Why Should My Addiction Treatment Center Get LegitScript Certified?

African woman appreciates support of millennials at rehab group meeting

Addiction treatment certification through LegitScript is required to advertise on the most prominent and accessible online platforms. This includes Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Becoming LegitScript certified allows rehabilitation agencies to advertise freely to reach potential clients in need and immediately communicate to the public that they met (and continue to meet) rigorous and official quality and credibility standards.

When you become LegitScript certified, you immediately begin a relationship of trust with your community and potential clients, assuring everyone that your center uses fully vetted, safe and effective treatment practices to help people in their journey of recovery.

Who Needs LegitScript Certification?

LegitScript lists several types of businesses in the addiction recovery industry that need to become certified if they wish to advertise on Google, Microsoft or Facebook platforms and search engines. However, they also note that their certification is only currently available for the following types of treatment providers located within the United States.

In-Person Treatment Centers

If you’re an in-person alcohol or drug addiction treatment center that wants to advertise your services on Google, Microsoft, Bing, and/or Facebook, you’ll need LegitScript certification.

Addiction Recovery Support Groups

If you lead or facilitate addiction recovery support groups and want to advertise on Microsoft and/or Facebook, you’ll also need LegitScript certification.

Crisis Hotlines

To advertise on Microsoft and/or Facebook, LegitScript certification is also required for crisis hotlines providing addiction treatment-related assistance or information.

What’s the Process for Getting LegitScript Certified?

LegitScript certification includes a rigorous application process that involves providing required documentation to show that you comply with all applicable industry regulations and laws. You’ll also be required to answer a number of questions about your treatment center’s services and methods.

How to Become LegitScript Certified

There are several steps in the LegitScript application process, and most take place online through the LegitScript website.

  1. Create a LegitScript account online. You can take the first step to create your account on the LegitScript website.
  2. Pay the application review fee. This fee depends on how many stand-alone (unique) facilities you’re applying for. You’ll need to pay a fee for each individual facility, but the price of one facility is reduced the more facilities you have. For example, those with under 10 facilities will pay $1,595 per facility, and those with 100 or more will pay $1,075 per facility.
  3. Complete the LegitScript questionnaire. As this will likely take more than one sitting to complete, LegitScript will save your progress, so you can come and go from your application as you need.
  4. Be available for a LegitScript analyst to contact you with any questions or additional requests. If there are any issues with your application or areas of noncompliance, you’ll have a chance to correct them.
  5. Receive your application approval and pay the LegitScript annual subscription fee. Paying the annual subscription fee is required to complete the LegitScript certification process and receive your full LegitScript certification. As of January 2023, the annual fee per facility is $3,095 per facility for under 10 facilities and reduces to $2,125 per facility for agencies with more than 100 facilities.

LegitScript Certification Standards

LegitScript certification requires addiction treatment centers to maintain a high level of transparency about the people involved in every aspect of the business’s operations and about the policies and procedures in place for all areas of treatment center operations.

These policies and procedures must show that your center is run professionally and efficiently from intake through discharge and is committed to providing effective services using industry best practices that lead to your clients’ effective recovery.

You should have written policies and procedures in place for all common practices such as residential handbooks, complaint intake forms and resolution processes and admittance policies. You should also have criteria and policies in place to prevent and monitor for client relapses and have drug and alcohol testing policies.

You must also show that you have on-site therapists and medical practitioners who are fully licensed, and you must agree to undergo on-site inspections and audits.

What to Do When LegitScript Certified

Once you’ve made it through the LegitScript certification process, it’s time to celebrate! Congratulations on taking a giant leap forward for your treatment center that frees you to advertise across all available channels, with no limitations on how you can reach new clients and position your agency as a leading treatment center in your community.

You can now publicize that you are LegitScript certified, include this information on your website and other content and advertise across Google, Facebook and other search engines.

Grow & Fill Your Census Using Google Ads

Creating effective Google Ads is an ever-changing practice that requires time and continued learning to stay “in the know” about Google’s current advertising preferences and requirements. That’s why it’s best to consult with specialists such as ours at Lead to Recovery.

We understand Google advertising and how to create effective PPC campaigns across multiple online channels, and we only serve the mental health and addiction rehabilitation industries. This gives us dedicated expertise in the goals and challenges of addiction treatment centers like yours. This also means we know the ins and outs of your industry and audiences and can quickly identify and capitalize on ways your treatment center can stand out from the crowd.

Make the Most of Your LegitScript Certification

Let Lead to Recovery Lead the Way — Book a Discovery Call Today!

If you’re LegitScript certified, you’re ready to advertise via Google Ads, and Lead to Recovery has your back. With just one quick call or by reaching out through our online form, we can answer any initial questions you may have about PPC advertising.

Let our friendly, experienced digital marketing experts at Lead to Recovery help you decide how to use your LegitScript certification to your full advantage. To book a free 30-minute discovery call today, call us at 855-876-7238 or use our easy online scheduler to find a time that’s best for you.


Reviewed by:

Matthew Travers
Rehab Marketing Expert

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