STAT

How Dr. Phil’s new addiction recovery venture trades on his TV show’s marketing clout

One Florida facility that Dr. Phil endorsed on his show as one of the best in the nation has had scores of teens go missing in the past two years,…

LOS ANGELES — For addiction treatment centers, an appearance and positive mention on the popular daytime talk show “Dr. Phil” is marketing gold. Phone lines light up, emails pour in, and beds fill up.

“Dr. Phil mentioning a facility has an impact the same as Oprah saying, ‘Hey, read this book,’” said Greg Horvath, who produced a documentary, “The Business of Recovery,” that is critical of the treatment industry. “You go into the stratosphere.”

A STAT/Boston Globe investigation shows how some carefully placed promotions are also a financial opportunity for a new business venture involving the show’s host, Phillip McGraw, and his son, Jay.

An addiction recovery program the McGraws launched this year comes with an enticing offer: Buy their self-help video product and you could land a valuable spot on the top-rated “Dr. Phil” show.

But what’s good for the treatment centers and for the McGraws’ new venture might not always be good for viewers. One Florida facility that Phillip McGraw endorsed on his show as one of the best in the nation has a

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