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What is doctor shopping?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Drug Charges |

In recent years, every state in the union has been heavily focused on stopping the influx of illegally-obtained prescription drugs among the populace. Opioid addiction and abuse are serious problems.

That’s why doctors in this state are required to check the statewide prescription monitoring program before they prescribe any new controlled substances, and why there are now sharp limits on how much medication can be prescribed at one time following surgeries and other acute conditions. It’s also how “doctor shopping” laws came into being.

How does doctor shopping differ from seeking a second opinion?

You have a right to seek a second opinion or even change doctors any time you want – as long as you are honest with each provider you see about the medications you’ve already been given and don’t try to lead (or mislead) any provider into giving you drugs that you don’t need.

Doctor shopping is the process of making multiple appointments with different doctors, often within a short period of time, to obtain more opioids or other controlled substances than you have a right to receive.

It also involves acts of deception or lies of omission. Under Louisiana law, patients are required to tell their providers if they have recently received a prescription that is the same or similar to the one they’re about to receive. That includes the drug’s name, the date it was received, the quantity of the prescription and the number of refills they have left.

If you’re caught trying to obtain controlled substances this way, whether that’s pain medication, muscle relaxers, benzos or something similar, you can be charged with a drug crime that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Prescription drug crimes are very much a “hot-button” issue for the authorities. If you find yourself accused of doctor shopping or any illegal acquisition of prescription medications, it’s wise to remain silent until you can consult with your defense.