It’s been called the worst drug crisis in American history and now the federal government is warning Americans to be careful about opioid recovery treatments being sold online.
For opioid addicts, the internet is a fast and easy way to find help, but the Federal Trade Commission says some online retailers are scamming people into buying drug withdrawal supplements that won’t help at all, saying, “there’s an economic harm, but the most serious harm is that they just don’t work”.
Edward Glennon is an attorney with the FTC. This week, his agency sent letters to 11 companies, warning them that they may be misleading consumers about the effectiveness of their self-described ‘opioid treatment’ products.
The FTC says the retailers often all make the same claims; that if you buy their product, you’ll get a pill that is “clinically proven” to help with opioid withdrawal. The problem is, the FTC says, what you’re getting instead is lies. Edward Glennon of the FTC says, “in the cases we’ve brought, there really isn’t any science backing up the claims, that is our concern about these products”.
In 2017, Texas-based Catlin Enterprises agreed to pay the government a $6 million settlement over claims it misled customers about the opioid treatment product ‘Withdrawal Ease’. On Capitol Hill, Florida Senator Bill Nelson says Congress has to do more to protect consumers. “People are getting taken advantage of by all quarters and the long and short of it, we need a major opioid bill to start cracking down on this because this is ruining the lives of Americans”.
The FTC says it’s giving the 11 companies it notified three weeks to respond to its complaint, and that it’s important opioid addicts seek a doctor’s help, instead of just the internet for treatment.