doctor shopping

The term doctor shopping refers to the practice of visiting multiple doctors in order to acquire a larger number of prescription medications. It often happens when a person runs out of a prescription too soon because they are taking more than expected. When this is a medication such as a painkiller, it may be due to addiction. If you are engaging in opioid abuse, Solution Based Treatment can offer help and support.

Why Do People Engage in Doctor Shopping?

Prescription drug addiction creates compulsive actions to seek out the drug at all costs. That often means going to multiple doctors to request a prescription. Many of these drugs, such as opioids, have regulations in place that limit the amount a person has access to over a source of time. When used properly, the prescription spans that length of time. When abused, the drug user has to find a new way to get more of the medication.

Today, technology limits the success of doctor shopping. It is much more difficult since pharmacies and doctor’s offices track and communicate their prescriptions more efficiently. Yet, it can still occur. Sometimes people secure multiple prescriptions that double or triple their access to these drugs. This puts them at an increasingly higher risk of overdose. 

Sign a Person Is Doctor Shopping

Doctor shopping is not about trying to find a new doctor because one is no longer helpful. For those engaging in opioid abuse or struggling with other prescription drug addiction, the actions directly relate to seeking more drugs. Some signs this are happening include:

  • Needing to go to more than one doctor frequently
  • Running out of medications early and requesting more
  • Complaints about the inefficiencies of a doctor’s office or access to care
  • Noting that doctors are not providing enough medication even with increasing doses
  • “Firing” numerous doctors with various excuses with the goal of finding someone new

Painkiller addiction is a severe problem. A person in this situation is unable to stop using. Their compulsive actions to seek new avenues for the drug are due to a physical and emotional need for it. Most often, it’s going to worsen over time.

Developing tolerance is another sign to note. Over time, the body becomes so used to the drug that the current dosage is not enough to minimize pain in opioids. Sometimes, there is justification for increasing the dose. Other times, tolerance goes hand-in-hand with dependence and addiction. That means treatment to help a person stop using these drugs becomes critical instead. 

How Does Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Happen?

Recognizing the signs of doctor shopping is the first step. This often indicates opioid abuse (or other prescription drug abuse) is occurring. Treatment begins with detox if necessary. During detox, the body naturally processes and removes the drugs while cravings and withdrawal symptoms are safely managed. The process takes some time but enables a person to break their dependence. 

A key risk factor with some prescription drugs is going cold turkey. This can lead to health risks and life-threatening complications. Instead, a professional detox program is necessary.

Solution Based Treatment offers a comprehensive plan to address each component of addiction. This includes:

Once a person works through detox, he or she is likely to benefit from residential treatment to gain strength mentally and physically. From there, evidence-based and holistic therapy is used to educate about addiction and relapse prevention.

Recognize the Need for Help – Call Solution Based Treatment

Engaging in doctor shopping is a clear indication of a need for professional help. Solution Based Treatment provides comprehensive prescription drug addiction treatment. Learn more when you reach out to our compassionate counselors online or call 833.999.1941 today.

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