People who start to become addicted to prescription drugs should seek help as soon as possible. The problem with an addiction is that it can cause people to do things they would never otherwise do, like break the law. Sometimes an addicted individual may commit a crime without knowing it, like engaging in doctor shopping.
Doctor shopping might seem like an ingenious way to accumulate more prescription medicine, but it is against both federal and state law. If you know what doctor shopping is, you may understand how to avoid it and help someone you know to stay away from this crime.
How doctor shopping works
The idea behind going to a doctor is to get the correct amount of medicine to treat your condition. A person addicted to prescription drugs, however, may go to another doctor without revealing that he or she has already visited a medical provider for a prescription. As a result, the doctor may prescribe the medicine without knowing the patient has already acquired a supply of it. The addict might go to multiple doctors to get as many prescription drugs as possible.
Additional methods to get drugs
As FindLaw explains, addicts may engage in different tactics to secure more medicine from doctors or pharmacies. They could say they lost an earlier pill bottle and ask for a replacement. Some addicts fake signs of an illness in order to get medication. They might also forge a prescription order to acquire drugs from a pharmacy.
Often, doctors do not know they are supplying drugs to an addict, which is why doctor shopping is a form of fraud. However, some doctors engage in the fraudulent behavior themselves by selling to addicts or other persons who have addicts as customers.
Hold on to your medical information
Given that charges of prescription drug fraud can be serious, you should be able to access your medical information if needed. Your electronic medical records may confirm your doctor visits and make it clear you have not visited multiple doctors for drugs. Even the information on your pill bottle could be of help in the event you become the subject of an investigation for prescription drug fraud.