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doctor shopping laws

Doctor Shopping Laws

The U.S. remains in a prescription drug epidemic that has affected people from coast to coast. All too often, people get hooked on prescription medications like Xanax and Vicodin because they initially took these drugs under a doctor’s supervision. The longer people use these substances, the harder it will be for them to quit because they’ll start experiencing withdrawal symptoms without drugs in their system. 

Physicians know drugs like tranquilizers and painkillers can be powerfully addictive because of their effect on the brain and central nervous system. That’s why they are careful to provide strictly limited supplies of these drugs. Sadly, when someone becomes reliant on medication and no longer has a legitimate path to get more, they may go to great lengths to get around the rules – including a scheme called doctor shopping.

The History of Doctor Shopping

Doctor shopping involves lying to and manipulating health providers to convince them to prescribe more drugs. Common strategies to accomplish this can include making up fake symptoms, forging prescriptions, traveling across state lines or claiming you lost your remaining supply of medication.

There is a persistent misconception that any physician-provided prescription is legal. However, doctor shopping is against federal and state law. Fraudulently obtaining and using controlled substances like benzodiazepines and opioids is a felony offense known as drug diversion. If you get caught visiting multiple physicians in hopes of getting more medications, you could face prison time and owe costly fines.

To combat doctor shopping and supervise controlled substance use, New Mexico has implemented a prescription monitoring program. Doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement officials can use this database to see which drugs people have obtained and when. Someone getting the same prescription from several different prescribers within a relatively brief period can raise alarm bells.

Do You Need Help for a Prescription Drug Problem?

Getting prescription drugs through unethical and illegal channels is a significant warning sign of addiction. Other red flags include ignoring relationships and neglecting responsibilities. If your physical and mental dependence on drugs has caused you to lose sight of other life goals and priorities, you may need professional treatment to break the cycle of substance abuse and reclaim your life.

At Vista Taos, our family-owned New Mexico rehab provides an ideal environment for recovery. Here in the traditional spiritual center of Taos, also known as the “Soul of the Southwest,” you can reconnect with your emotions with a holistic plan tailored to your needs. We provide a comprehensive, fully transformative experience that addresses all facets of our clients’ mental, physical and emotional health. To learn more about our prescription drug addiction treatment program, please reach out to our team today.

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