The Internet is full of shit

I know what you’re thinking.

“Well, Bob, I am reading your blog on the internet right now, so you must be full of shit as well.”

And that’s okay if you think that, but give me a few minutes to explain.

I left work early on Friday afternoon to beat some traffic. I got to my car – it’s hot as hell. I blast the air conditioning and the music as I fly down the freeway. I just want to get home to my kids. I pull in, turn the lock and step inside.

Ahhhh, home sweet home.

Wait, what the hell? Everybody looks miserable. The air conditioning is not working.

I immediately grab my phone – the thing we all use to solve our problems – and search for “air conditioning repair man near me.” Suddenly I’m bombarded with about 453,000 results – none of which are actual people or companies that can help me, mostly call centers. I click on the first few on the list.

“Cha-ching!” What was that? Just the sound of that company with a call center halfway across the country making money off my click.

Do you see where I am going? You can’t even Google “air conditioning repair man near me” without getting 10 call centers all across the United States who are going to middleman-broker some AC repairman that never comes and you sit around waiting for nobody for nothing.

As I said before, and I’ll say it again, you cannot trust the internet. You are exploited and traded like cattle. I think the public is very uneducated about how the internet works when you’re looking for a service.

I can’t imagine what it is like to be a parent of young adult addicted to heroin and looking for help. A quick search from your home in Kentucky or Texas of “addiction rehab centers near me” gives you a list of companies who are spending multiple million dollars a month on internet marketing and patient acquisition. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A MONTH to be the first listing that pops up. Many of these centers are publicly traded and completely profit-motivated and the people running them could care less if your child dies or gets better.

I got sober because there were amazing people who worked in mom and pop rehabs all over America. They were not profit-motivated. They knew that if they had patient success then they would be taken care of financially.

That all has changed – it’s only about financial success now because there’s a hopelessness and cynicism in the recovery industry that nobody gets better.

“When people connect with compassion, love and tolerance, a person has the possibility of getting better. There are no quarterly numbers on that.”- Bob ForrestClick To Tweet

I’m here to tell you that is a lie. When people connect with compassion, love and tolerance, a person has the possibility of getting better. There are no quarterly numbers on that. There’s not a spreadsheet or special formula with back-end analytics.

I’ve actually had a recovery professional tell me personally, “Bob, these kids don’t get better.” His job is to get 60 to 100 clients a month for $8500 per person, but he does not believe they can get better.

If you’re searching for a rehab center online you need to know that you are being sold to the highest bidder because there is so much gross revenue to make. For every conversion –  meaning you click, call and you send your child there – a rehab center can gross as much as $100,000. That’s not like converting a t-shirt sale or tennis shoe sale.

Nothing else matters when you think your child is going to die. I know you will do just about anything to help your child. I have friends and families who I have counseled and help heal from addiction and I get it. The goal as I say all the time is “Don’t Die.” But in order to not die, you have to get the right kind of treatment. And to get the right kind of treatment, you have to be careful because I don’t think you can trust anything on the internet in the addiction space.

You’re probably wondering, did my air conditioning ever get fixed? I decided to go next door and ask my neighbor if he had any recommendations. He had a guy. I called him and he squeezed us in between two other appointments later that day. He was able to fix everything in an hour. Sometimes the best referrals come from family and friends.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Ask your family, neighbors, co-workers, friends — ask me. The internet marketers are counting on your shame; they are taking advantage of your fear. They are selling human beings.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from real people who you can trust.

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