Print Posted 03/30/2017 in Category 1

Doctor Shopping Contributing to Increasing Prescription Opiate Epidemic

Doctor Shopping Contributing to Increasing Prescription Opiate Epidemic

There have been many problematic substances throughout the years.  Trends of use rise and fall as time goes on, and attention shifts between handling various epidemics.  One of the largest substance issues across the nation in the modern age is the prescription opiate epidemic that is affecting and killing millions.  As the rates of prescription have continued to increase largely, as have the amount of addictions that are connected to these drugs.  One large factor that has continued to contribute to this situation is doctor shopping.  

Doctor shopping is when an individual who is struggling with prescription drugs visits several different doctors purporting a condition to each of them, so that they can receive more medications.  In this way, they increase the supply that they have for their recreational use.  Often, each doctor is unaware of the others that are prescribing medications as well, so the person is able to continue taking advantage of them.  

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

An implementation that has been that has been put in place to mitigate this situation is Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP).  These are essentially conjoined state networks that every doctor can access which relays the details of each person’s history of prescriptions, and how much, etc.  This allows doctors to know what kind of medications their patient has received, as well as the dosage, so that they can properly prescribe anything further.  This helps to prevent individuals being prescribed too much of something, or being given medications that conflict with what they are already on.  Doctors can use this program to recognize signs of addiction, and get individuals the help they need.

This issue has gotten so large that there have even been individuals who will get medications from veterinarians for their pets, just to use them themselves.  People have even injured their pets several times over to obtain more medications.  Fortunately, many vets have caught onto this type of behavior, but there are many others who have not.  There has been talk of implementing more strict prescription regulations for vets, but many in the profession say that this would only make their jobs harder.  Overall, the rates of addicted individuals going to vets to obtain opiates is low in comparison to human medical professionals.

Finding Help with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Addiction can be quite difficult for a person to overcome, which is why it often requires treatment to do so.  Fortunately, there are many different types of treatment centers around the country that can help a person to work through and break free of their addiction.  With the large amount of rehabs out there, it can make it difficult to know which one to choose, but our staff can help with that.  They are familiar with the various centers around the country, and can help to find the ideal fit for you or your loved one.  

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