How to Tell if Someone is Doctor Shopping

At October Road, we offer a wide range of programs that focus on specific addictions, including prescription drug addiction. While movies and TV shows would like us to believe that people with addiction are always abusing street drugs, millions of Americans are addicted to the legalized medications they’ve been prescribed by their doctors. Our team has worked with countless patients who have become addicted to prescription drugs, including painkillers and depressants. Whether you’re addicted to Valium, Adderall, Xanax, or something else, you can trust our team to treat you with respect and without judgment during your time with us.

Formulary checking will also display a variety of information such as recommended dosage, side effects, possible copays, or contraindications. The point of adopting an electronic prescription system is to reduce drug abuse, which in turn helps improve patient safety. Your e-prescribe software should ensure accuracy with regard to the patient’s medical history and prescription record. There are also several red flags that physicians and pharmacists watch for.

The term doctor shopping is defined as obtaining controlled substances from multiple healthcare practitioners without the prescriber’s knowledge of other prescriptions. It refers to the deliberate use of more than one physician in order to obtain prescriptions for a greater amount of medications than would be prescribed by a single physician. The prevalence of doctor-shopping ranged from 0.5% among opioid users in the USA to 38% of patients registered at general practices in Hong Kong. Examples of rates of doctor-shopping across studies that used different methodologies are shown in Table 4.

There are doctors out there who are too willing to prescribe dangerous medications, this needs to change, but there are also patients who seek these physicians out. Drug addiction can originate from many places, including prescription drug use. Many people who find themselves addicted to prescription medications will attempt to go to several different doctors in an attempt to keep receiving the medication or type of medication they are addicted to. It can also destroy your mental health, relationships, well-being, and finances. If you’re struggling with addiction, the best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out for help before you get hit with legal fines or even time behind bars. Pick up the phone and contact one of our dedicated addiction treatment specialists in North Carolina today.

PDMPs collect federal schedules II-IV, which contain narcotics like hydrocodone, tranquilizers like alprazolam and diazepam, and stimulants like methylphenidate and butalbital. There is a prescription monitoring program in 49 states, District of Columbia and Guam (U.S territory). Below is a chart of the states in the USA that have drug monitoring programs provided by the National Institute of health.

Physicians, pharmacists, and lawmakers are constantly attempting to find ways to reduce the practice of doctor shopping. Considering this, it’s not surprising that an estimated 26.4 to 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide.2 Doctor shopping is another means for dealers to illegally get more drugs like opioids to sell to their buyers. In most cases, punishment includes incarceration and significant fines. The severity of the sentence varies by state and usually depends on prior offenses, scope of the crime, and other considerations. No matter where doctor shopping occurs, it is considered a serious offense that should never be taken lightly. Assessment of abuse of tianeptine from a reimbursement database using “doctor shopping” as an indicator.

Medications can help patients safely quit taking prescription painkillers and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, also referred to as PPMDs, are highly effective tools utilized by government officials for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion. PDMPs collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted prescribing and dispensing data submitted by pharmacies and dispensing practitioners. The agencies that administer the PDMP are Boards of Pharmacy, Departments of Health, Professional Licensing, Law Enforcement, Substance Abuse, and Consumer Protection.

Effects of ‘doctor shopping’ behaviour on prescription of addictive drugs in Sweden

To combat doctor shopping, Florida developed a prescription drug monitoring program, E-FORCSE (Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation) in 2011. Oxycodone death rates have declined by 41% after E-FORCSE became fully operational. Recreate Life Counseling is conveniently located in Boynton Beach, Florida. If you find that you have been doctor shopping and abusing prescription drugs because of addiction, it may be the right time to make the decision to come, get treatment. We will explain exactly how our detox and outpatients’ programs work and help you determine the best road of action for you as an individual.

The highest rates were reported for multiple visits to doctors during the same illness episode and were found to involve as many as 38% of patients registered at outpatient clinics. Multiple factors were identified as potential risk factors for doctor-shopping. The most common were multiple comorbid conditions including mental disorders, unresolved health problems, history of drug and other substance misuse, younger age, and poor socioeconomic status.

Double doctoring is a way of getting more medications prescribed than is medically necessary. This is afelony offense that is punishable by between one and six years in jail. Tom is in a car accident and needs an oxycodone prescription to manage his pain. He visits a second doctor and receives a second prescription for oxycodone, which he sells to recreational users. Receive or attempt to receive a prescription for a controlled substance.

This means that if convicted of doctor shopping, you likely will not be able to receive court-supervised drug treatment instead of a criminal sentence. Recently researchers at McGill University in the US, foundprescribed painkiller medicationto be responsible for more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. The number of fatalities in America from narcotic overdoses has tripled in the last decade, and there is no sign that this trend is changing anytime soon.

Individualized Drug Addiction Programs

The NIDA study also found that doctor shoppers tend to be younger adults between the ages of 18 and 44 years old. Pradel V, Delga C, Rouby F, Micallef J, Lapeyre-Mestre M. Assessment of abuse potential of benzodiazepines from a prescription database using “doctor shopping” as an indicator. Unlike with prescription fraud, prosecutors usually charge possession of a controlled substance as a misdemeanor .

  • It is a common practice of people with substance use disorders, suppliers of addictive substances, hypochondriacs or patients of factitious disorder and factitious disorder imposed on another.
  • Although awareness is growing among physicians, not all doctors take the time to use these drug monitoring databases.
  • Jails and prisons are supposed to release prisoners promptly once their sentence is completed.
  • According to a study, hospitals in the US saw a 66% drop in prescription errors after adopting a decision support system.
  • But, as I look at the list of medications I was on, I have to believe I had a part and so did they.

If you obtain the pills from a doctor operating a “Pill Mill” that is dispersing addictive medication at rates much higher than what would be seen in a legitimate medical practice, the doctor may face drug trafficking charges. The state is aggressively prosecuting unethical doctors in an attempt to curb rising rates of prescription drug addiction. Although awareness is growing among physicians, not all doctors take the time to use these drug monitoring databases. Some states now require that doctors check these databases before prescribing potentially addictive or harmful drugs. It can also result in doctors distrusting all patients seeking the types of medications often obtained by double doctoring, such as painkillers and tranquilizers.

For example, a person with a real need for narcotic painkillers might feel hesitant about asking for a prescription if a physician challenges him or her about the pain he or she is feeling. Since doctor shopping is against federal law, a person who gets caught doctor shopping will be charged with committing a felony. As a result, they may be charged with a multi-thousand dollar fine or prison time. Because doctor shopping and addiction are often linked, law enforcement officials or the court systems may opt to offer a “diversion program” or a court-mandated rehab program. Drug addiction has long plagued American society but prescription drugs are now taking their toll on people across the country at alarming rates.

Laws Against Doctor Shopping

However, when someone attempts to obtain medication illegally or tries to use multiple pharmacies when filling their prescriptions, it can get them in serious trouble. Lisa visits the emergency room, requesting an injection of pain medication. Even though Lisa didn’t receive anything, she likely still broke HS by seeking the pain medication.

In this regard, Lineberry and Bostwick6 define doctor shopping as patient visits to multiple physicians simply to procure prescriptions. Hall et al7 characterize doctor shopping as obtaining prescriptions for controlled substances from five or more clinicians during the preceding year. Shaffer and Moss8 define doctor shopping as patient consultation with multiple physicians in a short time frame with the explicit eco sober house review intent to deceive them in order to obtain controlled substances. In an effort to curb the opioid epidemic by tracking and regulating prescription medications, 49 states have adopted a prescription drug monitoring program . Prescription drug monitoring programs, also referred to as PDMPs, are tools that collect, monitor, and analyze electronically submitted prescribing and medication dispensing data.

If you’ve been prescribed opioids by your primary care physician, he or she will likely ask you during your visit. When it comes to doctors committing prescription fraud, they can always use the defense that they lacked criminal intent. They can show this by asserting that they did not knowingly eco sober house rating write a non-legitimate prescription. Maybe, for example, a physician wrote an inaccurate prescription out of carelessness instead of doing so purposefully. We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness.

Sometimes people with illness anxiety disorder will engage in this behavior to treat perceived ailments. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Pharmacy shopping occurs when a patient picks up their prescriptions from multiple pharmacies. For instance, if someone has one painkiller killed at pharmacy A and another filled at pharmacy B, a different chain from the former, this is considered pharmacy shopping. Prescription medications can be extremely helpful for treating or managing a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

what is doctor shopping

Doctor shoppers visit multiple doctors and provide false information to obtain multiple prescriptions. They may lie about symptoms, deny receiving previous medications, omit information, purposely injure themselves, claim they lost previous prescriptions, or commit other forms of deception. The drugs they’re after are typically narcotics such as Vicodin, Xanax, or Oxycontin.

Risk for Overdose

Sato T, Takeichi M, Shirahama M, Fukui T, Gude JK. Doctor-shopping patients and users of alternative medicine among Japanese primary care patients. Jails and prisons are supposed to release prisoners promptly once their sentence is completed. The principal remedy for over-detention is a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer, we invite you to contact our law firm at the Shouse Law Group. Our attorneys provide both free consultations and legal advice you can trust.

  • Decision support systems have been used for decades to help make a doctor’s job easier.
  • The term doctor shopping is defined as obtaining controlled substances from multiple healthcare practitioners without the prescriber’s knowledge of other prescriptions.
  • Engaging in compulsive drug use despite experiencing negative consequences is a symptom of addiction.
  • Some patients switch doctors regularly claiming communications problems, trouble schedule appointments or they have moved away from the office.
  • Our Florida drug rehab program offers a full continuum of care to get your loved ones the help they need.

In addition, more than 20 individual states have enacted their own laws related to this issue. These laws typically prohibit patients from knowingly withholding important information from their practitioners about controlled substances and prescriptions they have obtained from other healthcare providers. The patent majority of commentaries and empirical studies examining patient factors related to doctor shopping reside in the area of substance misuse/abuse.

Because doctor shopping is against federal law, the act is considered a felony. If you get caught doctor shopping, your punishment could result in a multi-thousand-dollar fine and several years in prison. Specific laws in each state vary slightly, but the Uniform Narcotic Drug act of 1932 and the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1970 cover this topic thoroughly. It is illegal for anyone to obtain, or attempt to obtain, a narcotic drug by deceit, misrepresentation, fraud, or concealment of facts. Impact of a prescription monitoring program on doctor-shopping for high dosage buprenorphine.

Carolina Recovery

Additional laws in 23 states specify that information patients provide to a practitioner during the act of doctor shopping is not protected under the standard doctor-patient privilege. Some patients don’t fully realize they’re breaking the law then they doctor shop. They may admit to being less than honest, or that they’re “bending the rules” a bit, but in the end, doctor shopping is against federal law.

•We analyse prescriptions of opioids, benzodiazepines, and z-hypnotics. Some patients switch doctors regularly claiming communications problems, trouble schedule appointments or they have moved away from the office. The content on is brought to you by American Addiction Centers , a nationwide network of leading substance abuse and behavioral treatment facilities. Profiling multiple provider prescribing of opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and anorectics. In some cases, we may be able to get the charge dismissed by having you participate in a pre-trial intervention program.

Equipped with that information, doctors can then choose a drug that is safest for the patient. Drug interaction alerts are an important feature to be had in any e-prescribe application. The cost of medications can be quite high for low-income families, leading to people’s forgoing medical treatments completely or purchasing medication at great financial hardship. To help low-income patients cope with the cost of treatment, e-prescribe software should be able to do formulary checking. A drug formulary is a list of related drugs that have the same effects but have lower costs. For example, depending on the patient’s insurer, the application should display a list of drugs approved by that insurer, since selecting an unapproved drug would cost the patient more.

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