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AI-Targeted Internet Advertisements Fueling Looming Addiction Crisis

Online pill services are using the same aggressive marketing tactics that drove the opioid epidemic.

The first Adderall ad appeared in my Instagram feed during the height of pandemic isolation. I thought the slick 30-second video promising me a "super easy" way to get ADHD medication was another gimmick. But after the algorithm pushed a few more plugs my way, I started to get curious. The drugs, to my surprise, were real. Unlike countless sketchy ads for black-market supplements, Cerebral, the then-hot telehealth startup behind the ads, offered a legal path to prescription medications.


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