Valiant Living Blog

Is “Doctor Shopping” Still a Trend?

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

People who become addicted to prescription medication will do anything they can to keep these “legal” drugs flowing for them. Whether they steal from medicine cabinets they have access to or try to buy pills off people who already have prescriptions, they could also try doctor shopping. Rather than have one physician to prescribe the appropriate amount of medication for a specific ailment, people who are addicted will use more than one doctor to get what they think they need. This process is known as “doctor shopping” because a person who is abusing prescriptions will go from one doctor to the next, and then onto another to obtain the excess they need to feed their addiction. 

What is Doctor Shopping?

Doctor shopping entails visiting multiple clinics as a “new patient” or as an “out of town patient” so they will not allude to the fact they are addicted to the medication. Some physicians are known as “writers” and will prescribe medications without a medical examination or knowledge of an actual ailment to make a quick buck. On the other hand, patients on a mission to procure prescription medication for their addiction will feign and overexaggerate their pain and suffering. In this case, the doctor could be liable for prescription diversion and put insurance companies in jeopardy for fraudulent activity. Everyone involved is at risk in criminal behavior with addiction being the main culprit. 

Does Doctor Shopping Still Occur?

People who are addicted to drugs will go to any lengths to gain unlimited access to them. Although there are new policies in place to better prevent doctor shopping, it still does occur. Laws have been implemented to prosecute physicians, insurance companies, pharmacies, and people who try to cheat the system. One of the best tools put into place was the online database that gives prescription drug history on patients to help gain traction on the prescription drug epidemic that has taken so many lives. There is still doctor shopping that still falls through the cracks in this fairly new system, but there have been some improvements from the accountability that this system poses. 

Once doctor shopping has been eliminated as a source for prescription drugs, the next phase often moves someone who is addicted to the streets for illicit drugs. The best bet for someone that is having problems with prescription drugs is to get the help they need for permanent cessation.   

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463