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What you should know about doctor shopping

Opioid addiction remains a serious concern for many people in Florida. The opioids that are contained in prescription drugs like pain relievers can lead people into drug addiction. To satisfy an addiction, people may engage in doctor shopping to acquire more of the prescription drug they are addicted to. Floridians should understand what doctor shopping is and the possible legal ramifications for attempting this activity.

According to Findlaw, doctor shopping is when a person seeks the same prescription from multiple doctors. The goal is to get as much of the prescription as possible, more than what a single doctor would prescribe for a patient. Which contacting different doctors, the person will not disclose prior efforts to acquire the same prescription. Thus a doctor who would otherwise refuse to prescribe the drug will be more likely to grant a prescription.

Engaging in doctor shopping runs afoul of federal law, so no matter what state you live in, you can be prosecuted federally for doctor shopping. According to the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act, no one may try to acquire a narcotic drug by using deceptive means, which can include concealing important facts that would otherwise deny you the prescription. So if a person gains a prescribed drug from a doctor without telling the doctor that he or she possesses other prescriptions of the same drug, that person could be prosecuted under federal law.

While many states do not specifically list doctor shopping as an offense, the underlying deceit used in doctor shopping can be prosecuted under state laws that mimic the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act. To combat doctor shopping, Florida prosecutors will invoke Florida Statute 893.13(7)(a)8. According to the Florida state legislature website, this statute states that Floridians cannot go to a doctor and ask for a prescription and not disclose that they have received the same kind of prescription from another doctor within the past thirty days. Additionally, Florida Statute 9 will forbid a person from using any kind of deception to try and acquire a controlled substance.

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Ian F. Mann, P.A.
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Fort Myers, FL 33901

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