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What is Doctor Shopping?

America’s prescription opioid epidemic has led to addiction, criminal behavior, and deadly overdoses. As such, a number of states across the country have taken measures to crack down on the amount of prescription painkillers being prescribed by doctors. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss “doctor shopping,” but first we’re going to give some background.

According to Harvard Medical School,“Overdoses of powerful painkillers called opioids kill more than 115 people per day in the United States. More than 42,000 people died from opioids in 2016, five times more than in 1999. The reason? Since several of these powerful painkillers became available in pill form several decades ago, doctors have been prescribing more than patients need.”

Opioids are often prescribed to treat severe pain associated with surgery and catastrophic injuries. They’re also used to treat long-term back pain and terminal illnesses, such as cancer. The legal prescription opioids include Fentanyl, Oxycodone (OxyContin), and Hydrocodone (Vicodin). The illegal formulas include Heroin and street versions of Fentanyl.

Doctor Shopping Defined

In recent years, the abuse of prescription opioids has led to serious health and social problems in our country, and “doctor shopping” is one of the symptoms of the issue. Doctor shopping is the process of seeing multiple healthcare providers to illegally obtain prescriptions, especially prescription opioids.

In order to combat doctor shopping, Arizona has tightened its laws and effective January 1, 2019, all prescription orders involving Schedule II opioids in Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties have to be transmitted electronically to the pharmacy.

On July 1, 2019, the remaining Arizona counties must comply with the same rules. To learn more about these changes under the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act 2018, click here.The new rules are not only making doctor shopping harder, but they’re limiting how much doctors can prescribe for pain, whether it’s due to surgery, an injury, or a disease.

Related: Drug Possession Charges in Phoenix

Contact Phoenix Drug Lawyer, Joshua S. Davidson if you’re facing drug charges in Maricopa County or the surrounding areas.