Simply put, doctor shopping is a way some people try to get prescription drugs to misuse. People who doctor shop visit multiple physicians, clinics, or hospitals in an attempt to get their desired prescription, usually opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin. These people often struggle with substance use disorders and need help from an opioid rehab center, not an opioid prescription.
It’s crucial to know what doctor shopping is, why people engage in this behavior, and some of the new laws that prohibit it. If you’re concerned that a loved one is doctor shopping, contact Blueprint Recovery Center by completing our online form or calling 833.654.1004 today to explore options at our opioid rehab center.
Why Do People Doctor Shop?
Doctor shopping refers to a practice used by substance users to obtain pharmaceutical drugs. They might also be seeking a particular diagnosis, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety, and visit multiple doctors until one finally agrees. Doctor shoppers can visit dozens of providers in a single day. This means that they can seek out multiple prescriptions.
Since physicians may not be aware of medications prescribed by other doctors, they don’t always look for dangerous medication combinations or provide appropriate dosages. This increases the risk of prescription medication overdose and misuse.
Prescription Opioid Abuse
Opioid abuse is the most common reason people doctor shop. People looking for prescription opioids will often feign injuries or pain to receive a prescription. They may even inflict serious harm upon themselves to strengthen their case in severe cases.
Addiction to opioids has dramatic repercussions. People struggling with opioid addiction can face consequences, such as:
- Severe withdrawal symptoms
- Permanent liver damage
- Serious medical complications, such as heart disease or respiratory failure
- Social ostracization
- Intense cravings for the drug
People who turn to doctor shopping for opioids are typically well into their addiction already and can benefit tremendously from a compassionate substance use treatment center.
Benzodiazepines are the second leading cause of doctor shopping. Drugs such as Xanax, Valium, or clonazepam have a high potential for abuse, and countless people become addicted each year. Since these medications are only available with a prescription, many will seek out multiple physicians to get a diagnosis that leads to a prescription.
Anxiety disorders are serious mental illnesses. People struggling with anxiety often benefit from targeted medication regimens under the care of a physician. But they can also seek therapeutic help as an effective means of dealing with their anxiety. Doctor shopping for these benzodiazepines not only hurts the person abusing the medications, but it also affects people who require these medicines to live healthy and productive lives.
Laws Against Doctor Shopping
The recent opioid crisis has encouraged many states to institute laws against doctor shopping and placed doctors who prescribe controlled medications under closer scrutiny. There has been a general law against fraud in obtaining prescription drugs since the 1970s under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, but recent years have seen more than twenty states enact specific doctor shopping laws. These laws prohibit a patient from hiding information about prescriptions from other doctors from your physician, and violators can face jail time or other legal penalties.
Seek Prescription Drug Treatment at Blueprint Recovery Center
People addicted to prescription drugs, such as opioids or benzodiazepines, often turn to doctor shopping because they don’t see a path out of their substance use. Blueprint Recovery Center team is here to help. Our highly trained addiction professionals guide people toward leading healthier, more fulfilling lives in recovery. Contact us by completing our online form or calling 833.654.1004 to learn more about our opioid rehab center. Join us on the path to recovery, and start a new life today.