I was never a pill head. Well I guess I was but I always attained my drugs through illegal means. And while doctor shopping isn’t in the least bit legal, it is a way of obtaining a legal prescription for the drugs addicts are becoming so commonly addicted to. And you know which ones we mean: Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Oxycodone, Roxicodone, and Vicodin etc.
What is doctor shopping?
Doctor shopping is the act of visiting multiple doctors without providing information about prior treatments in order to get prescription medications. It is called doctor shopping because the person who is doing so is literally “shopping” for doctors that will fulfill their need; a need for prescription narcotics. The act of doctor shopping does not occur if a patient decides to change doctors or has several doctors for specific problems that all communicate together for treatment or if a patient decides to get another opinion about a diagnosis. Having multiple doctors without cause or with the intent solely to attain prescription drugs is doctor shopping. People who doctor shop are usually suffering from a drug addiction. When people intentionally doctor shop they are taking advantage of services, the health care industry and legitimate patients suffer because costs increase and the medical community has to be more strict about patient care.
An example of doctor shopping would look something like this:
I have found myself addicted to opiates. Specifically Percocet; and I have run out my pills. So I go online or on the phone book and find a pain doctor.
I find a doctor and go in complaining about pain in back or pain in my joints; some kind of pain. So, because the doctor thinks I am in genuine pain he or she writes me a prescription for Percocet to last a month with no refills. After seeing that doctor I make an appointment with a totally different doctor the next day. I go in and complain of the same ailments and he or she writes me another prescription for Percocet. I don’t tell the second doctor about seeing any other doctors and the prescriptions I already have. This is doctor shopping; using doctors to fulfill my drug habit.
Why people are doctor shopping
The cause of increased prescription drug abuse which leads to an increase in doctor shopping may be connected to an emphasis in modern medicine to relieve pain. This has unknowingly led to an increased supply of these medications that is more easily available and easily prescribed. Some view prescription drugs as a “safer” way to get high compared to street drugs. Others become dependent or addicted when the medication is inappropriately prescribed or when they have been necessary in the treatment of a long-term illness or injury and then begin doctor shopping. Some seek prescriptions to sell because they have a high street value.
It can also be really hard for doctors to determine whether or not patients are suffering from genuine pain and not necessarily abusing their medication. A doctor has to distinguish patient tolerance, dependence and addiction in order to know if a patient is trying to abuse the medication and this is hard to do although, doctors are getting better about noticing the signs. There also has been an increase of hospitals and doctors using state wide databases that record which people have been prescribed prescription narcotics so doctor shopping can’t happen anymore.
If you or someone you love is doctor shopping or in need of treatment for prescription drug abuse, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.