Drug treatment referral service took advantage of addictions to make a quick buck

If you or someone you know needs help dealing with a drug or substance addiction, you may turn to companies that say they can connect you with appropriate treatment programs and services. Steven Doumar and his company, R360 LLC, claimed in advertising to do just that. They promised to match people based on their individual needs with ethical, high-quality treatment centers that were hand-picked to be part of the R360 Network by a nationally known interventionist. But according to the FTC, people who called the R360 Network were connected to treatment centers that had been selected by someone without any expertise in addiction or addiction treatment, based upon very little research or evaluation.

What’s more, people calling R360 were not screened to determine their individual needs. They also had no chance to say what type of treatment characteristics they preferred – for example, whether they wanted residential or outpatient treatment, a medical detox, were willing to travel outside their community or state for treatment, or needed a treatment center that would accept Medicaid – before being transferred directly to an R360 Network member.

The FTC alleges in its complaint against Doumar and R360, that these actions violate the Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act (OARFPA). In its first case under the law, the FTC reached a settlement with the defendants that includes a permanent injunction. That means the FTC’s action will change how they do business in the future.

Professional evaluations, referrals, and treatment are critical to recovery. People who are misdirected to a treatment center that doesn’t meet their unique needs may not enroll in the treatment program, enroll but not complete treatment, or believe there are no treatment centers that meet their needs – all of which could cause people with substance use disorders to not look for or get treatment in the future.

If you or someone you know is looking for treatment, start here:

  • Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). You will get live help from this free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for people and families facing substance use disorders.
  • Visit SAMHSA’s confidential treatment locator to find a reputable treatment facility near you in a quick, confidential online search.

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