Chances are, if you’re seeking a drug rehab facility, treatment center, or substance abuse program, you have run across websites that offer to refer you to the best one to meet your specific needs. It might surprise you to learn that there are literally thousands of such sites, so many, in fact, that it has almost become an industry in and of itself. You may feel that by going through a referral site, you’re more likely to find the appropriate facility to meet your needs, and in some cases, that would be true. However, Narconon and its affiliates are quick to jump on any new money-making schemes or trends, operate a large number of these sites themselves, and will only refer you to a Narconon or Narconon-clone if you depend on them.
A partial list of web sites owned by Narconon and its affiliates can be found on this page: Umbra Xenu – List of Narconon Sites. (Be patient while the list is gathered from the database.)
How the Narconon referral site business works
Catchy domain names relating to the subject matter are acquired. Web sites are built and put online, using terms often entered into search engines, and include a toll-free telephone number. These numbers are often included as an image, so that they cannot be searched on, as that would reveal how many sites are using that particular number.
People searching for a treatment center on the web find the site in search engine results for related terms, which often include locations and drug names.
The person searching, usually in a desperate hurry to find a facility for their loved one, calls the number and is treated to a spiel by someone who is no more than a salesperson, has no knowledge or education in the field of substance abuse treatment, and may have just recently completed a rehab program themselves.
The salesperson steers the caller toward a Narconon or Narconon-clone program, convinces them that the program they recommend is the absolute best for the caller’s specific needs, and often pressures them with statements like “the facility is hard to get into, but there is one opening right now, if you hurry,” or “your loved one is in danger of dying if you hesitate to get them help.”
The caller, now even more fearful for their loved one’s well being, hurriedly commits to a Narconon program costing anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000, and the salesperson gets a percentage as a commission. 10% seems to be the average, and a $3,000 commission on a $30,000 sale is no small amount for a few minutes on the phone. The phone number you call determines who gets the commission.
Some things that may surprise you, and where your dollars go
- Domain names, when originally registered, cost about $10 or less if purchased in bulk or on a special. These same domain names can resell for thousands, tens of thousands, or in some cases, hundreds of thousands, of dollars, depending on the perceived value of them.
- Structurally identical websites, each with the same content but a different appearance, can be churned out and put on the web in a matter of minutes.
- These websites are bought, sold, traded, and sometimes even rented, by people in the referral industry.
- The owners of the websites are likely not the people you will speak to on the phone, but someone who hires a call center to answer the many calls that come in.
- These websites are frequently registered under a “domain proxy” service that hides the true owner of them.
- These websites provide a very comfortable living for their owners, as well as a good living for the salespeople. In the case of Narconon referral sites, a portion of the money you pay will inevitably be paid to the Church of Scientology for services, courses, and donations.
Because of the facts above, we recommend that you not try to find a substance abuse treatment facility or program using referral sites. Our recommendations are listed on our How to Choose a Drug or Alcohol Rehab page, which we hope you have or will read. However, if you choose to go the referral site route, we offer you the following suggested questions to weed out sites that are not operating in your best interests, but instead are in it for the money. Remember to maintain a sense of skepticism when you hear the answers to these questions, because the people answering them will have more practice with answering them than you will have with asking them. Be sure to make note of any addresses of referral sites that you contact.
Questions to ask a drug rehab referral service
- Are you directly connected to, affiliated with or operated by any particular facility or group of centers?
- Do you receive a commission if I go to a program you recommend? If not, then how do you get paid?
- How many different programs or facilities do you refer to? May I get a list of several? Do you mind if I research them before I make a selection?
- Other than the program(s) you’re recommending, what are some other options I can compare locally and/or that offer different methods of treatment?
- What is your experience or qualifications to be giving advice? Do you have any related certifications or degrees?
- Have you attended any of these programs you are recommending? If so, which one, and how long have you been out of the program? How long have you been clean?
Evaluate the answers
You may have found a reputable referral site that may steer you toward a program you would not have found on your own, if:
- You receive honest and forthcoming answers to these questions
- You are offered multiple choices, varying types of facilities, and time to make your decision
- You can substantiate their answers and recommendations through your own research
As we recommend throughout this site, the key is in methodically doing the research for yourself, and that includes any program to which a referral site points you. Good luck, and choose wisely. Now find out how to research drug rehabs.
We hope that we have given you enough information to successfully navigate the rehab referral website highway without being taken for a ride. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that are not answered here.