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Is it doctor shopping to seek out pain medications in a new state?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When you decided to go on vacation, you put together a list of everything you’d need to get there safely and to be comfortable while enjoying your time away. Part of that list included your medications, some of which included controlled substances like benzodiazepines and opioids.

You have a chronic condition that causes significant pain, so when you arrived and realized you’d forgotten your medications, you weren’t sure what to do. You called your pharmacy, but they wouldn’t give you a refill so soon after you left the state.

You headed to a doctor’s appointment with someone new, explained the situation and were waiting for them to come back when they admitted that they needed to report you. They had spoken to the same pharmacy about sending in the medications, and the pharmacist remembered you had just filled a prescription out of state. Now, you’re facing trouble, because they think you’re doctor shopping.

Is it doctor shopping to try to fill a prescription out of state?

No, not always. Doctor shopping is usually described as when a person tries to hide that they’ve already filled prescriptions or that they have a prescription at all. They may go to multiple doctors to get prescriptions for the same condition, fill those at different pharmacies and then potentially misuse or sell those drugs.

Forgetting your medications isn’t a crime. Telling a new provider exactly what happened shouldn’t necessarily result in being accused of doctor shopping, either. However, if this does happen to you, then there are steps you can take to get help.

  1. Contact your medical office. The medical team there may be willing to offer a prescription and to clear up any misunderstandings about your character.
  2. Get in touch with your attorney. Don’t say or do anything to suggest that you might be shopping for medications with different providers.
  3. Be willing to go without. Although it may not be possible, go without the medications as long as you can. If you do need them and can’t wait, try a local hospital to get outpatient treatment, which is more controlled and less likely to result in claims of doctor shopping.

This is a tough situation to be in. If you’re accused of drug crimes, stand up for yourself by knowing your rights.