The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has accepted an enforceable undertaking from an incorporated association that claimed:
- an 80 per cent success rate with drug-addicted patients withdrawing to zero consumption, usually within 30 days, and
- a more than 70 per cent success rate over many years for its program.
Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation Inc operated two websites (getoffdrugs.com.au and getoffdrugsnaturally.com.au), which included testimonials from 'patients' who had participated successfully in its programs.
However, when it was issued with a substantiation notice by Consumer Affairs Victoria in October 2014, the association was unable to provide evidence that ten testimonials were genuinely from patients, or that all the claims made about the treatment program were supported by independently verified scientific evidence.
Get Off Drugs Naturally also claimed that its 'detoxification program thoroughly removes the physical cravings for drugs and alcohol naturally and even rids the body of unwanted toxins and chemicals.' It claimed that more than 70 per cent of participants stayed drug free 'for many years' after completing the program.
One of the two websites, getoffdrugs.com.au, remains active.
Under the terms of the undertaking, Get Off Drugs Naturally must remove all false claims about the effectiveness of its program, and testimonials it was unable to substantiate, from the website.
It was also required to post a notice on the website for six months, which says:
- the information on the website is not a substitute for medical advice, and
- that claims on the website about testing had not been independently reviewed or verified.
The association is also required to introduce and maintain a two-year compliance program and pay $3000 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund.
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Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation Inc and Dr Nerida James - Enforceable undertaking (Word, 155KB)
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