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10 Signs of Doctor Shopping in Your Loved One

10 Signs of Doctor Shopping in Your Loved One

Although prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor, they are not entirely safe.

When medications are abused, especially with prescription painkillers, there can be serious consequences. Many people start by taking these medications as directed before slipping up and taking a higher dose or taking them more frequently than recommended. Before they know it, they may become addicted to this drug and find it hard to stop. Without professional help like our Pompano prescription drug addiction treatment, they may spiral into addiction and experience serious negative consequences.

Doctor Shopping Warning Signs

While a prescription pill addiction can change the addict’s physical appearance, mental health, and behaviors, one of the biggest signs of this addiction is doctor shopping. Doctor shopping involves going to several doctors in an attempt to get multiple prescriptions. Many addicts will doctor shop in order to fuel their addictions.

If you suspect that your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, look for these signs of doctor shopping.

1. Having several doctors’ appointments for no apparent health problems

If your loved one always has an appointment with a new doctor but has no health problems, this is typically a sign of doctor shopping. Especially if they go to several different doctors instead of follow-ups with the same doctors, it is probably because they are trying to get more prescriptions.

2. Claiming that their medication was lost

While it is possible that someone could lose their medications or forget their pills somewhere, if this is a regular occurrence, your loved one is probably doctor shopping. Lost medication is only an excuse used to get more pills to fuel their addiction.

3. Going to a doctor that is far away or out of state

In order to evade suspicions or state laws, people who doctor shop will often go to doctors far away in order to get more medication. A patient’s medical history with a doctor may only extend so far geographically, so traveling outside this area is a way to fly under the radar.

4. Paying for medication in cash

Instead of using their insurance, many people who doctor shop will use cash. Cash is harder to track and makes it easier to get the medication they need without drawing attention to themselves from authorities.

5. Lying about their appointments

While the person who is doctor shopping may be able to fool the authorities by going out of state or paying in cash, it can be much harder to fool those closest to them. Instead of telling their loved one about each appointment, they may lie about where they are going instead to avoid suspicion.

6. Asking for higher doses

With frequent abuse, a person can become tolerant of their medications and need more in order to feel the same effects. When this occurs, they will frequently ask their doctor to increase their dosage. If this pattern continues, it may be a sign that your loved one needs professional help like our Pompano drug rehab.

7. Having multiple prescription pill bottles from several doctors

If you find several pill bottles around your loved one’s home that have been prescribed by different doctors, this is a good sign of doctor shopping. Especially if these are all the same medication and dosage, you should be concerned.

8. Having financial problems

When someone is an addict, they prioritize fueling their addiction over almost anything else. The result is often financial problems. If your loved one is struggling to afford basic necessities but still goes to several different doctors and pays for expensive prescriptions, it is likely because they are addicted to the medication.

9. Showing signs of anxiety in anticipation of or during their appointment

Doctor shopping is against the law, so it is not uncommon for addicts to feel nervous or anxious about doing so. They may seem visibly nervous or be in a rush to get it over with. While some people do experience anxiety when going to the doctors, if this becomes a regular occurrence for a routine checkup, this could be a sign of doctor shopping.

10. Stopping their doctors’ visits suddenly but still acting odd

Many people who start by abusing prescription painkillers can eventually turn to heroin because it is cheaper. If your loved one was showing several signs of doctor shopping but suddenly stopped, there could be another serious problem at hand. While this is not a sign of doctor shopping, it may be a sign of heroin abuse and you should take action. Heroin is dangerous, so you should try to get them into heroin addiction treatment immediately.  

If you are concerned about your loved one’s wellbeing and believe that they may have a substance abuse problem, get them help. Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about Banyan Treatment Center Pompano and our programs.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.