Consumer Watch: Companies warned after "potentially bogus" claims


Prescription opioids are skyrocketing to the top of the list in U. S. overdose deaths according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The topic is also a major talking point in politics, with President Donald Trump announcing his intention to develop a plan to deal with the epidemic.

This year the FDA and the FTC are sending warning letters to many companies making, what the Federal Trade Commission calls, potentially bogus and illegal claims that their products help with recovery from addiction.

The letters, which can be seen in their entirety on the FTC website, were sent out at the beginning of the year, and the government agencies warn the companies about their advertising practices, and give them the opportunity to make changes to the way they try to sell their products.

These federal agencies are quick to point out that if you or a loved one are seeking help for an opioid addiction, dietary supplements-- like vitamins, minerals, or any herbal blends-- are not proven to help with addiction recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says you should ask these questions to your doctor before taking supplements for any health related reasons:

  1. Is there scientific proof it actually works?
  2. How reliable is this brand?
  3. How will it interact with other supplements or drugs I take?
  4. What are the side effects?
  5. If it's safe to take, what's the right amount?

If you are looking for help with opioid addiction treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357). They answer anytime, and have services in English and Spanish.

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