With the current U.S. opioid crisis, there is a large-scale movement to prevent further addiction and help those already addicted to these drugs. Part of this movement is enacting drug laws in North Carolina that help limit a doctor’s ability to prescribe opioid medications. Physicians may only have the right to prescribe a few pills at a time or be unable to provide certain medications unless patients meet specific medical guidelines. Due to the restrictions, many people decide to practice doctor shopping.
According to Recovery First, doctor shopping is when you go to multiple doctors seeking a prescription for a medication that you will abuse or sell. The process of obtaining the prescription is often legal, but in some cases, it involves lying or deceiving a medical care provider. You may even have a legitimate need for the prescription. However, when you abuse the system to get more than the law allows, or when you start selling the drugs after you get them, then it is illegal.
In most cases, doctor shopping is a felony charge and illegal in every state. The consequences may vary, but usually include some threat of prison time and large fines. Officers aggressively watch for doctor shopping, so it is probably only a matter of time until you get caught.
There have been many high-profile cases of doctor shopping. The exact number of people guilty of this crime is unclear because there is really no way to track it. However, the arrests for the crime are rising. This goes alongside the rising number of people addicted to opioid drugs in several states.
The best way to avoid a charge of doctor shopping is to be honest with your physician. Do not try to go from medical facility to medical facility to get prescriptions, and never sell or give away your prescription. As long as you follow the law and manage your prescription drug use, you should be able to avoid facing this type of charge.