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9 Signs of Doctor Shopping

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

November 16, 2023

Table of Contents

Doctor shopping is the act of visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescription drugs illegally. Prescription medications, such as painkillers, are essential in relieving excruciating pain, but they are highly addictive. Most people begin by adhering to their doctor’s prescription before developing dependency and increasing the frequency of intake or exceeding the recommended dose.

Shopping for new doctors could indicate prescription drug abuse, and Renaissance Recovery Center can provide addiction treatment options. Contact us today at [Direct] to learn more about the signs of drug abuse and your treatment options.

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1. Paying for Treatment in Cash

Most people in the US have medical insurance. However, doctor shoppers are more likely to use cash when settling their prescription medicine bills. Excessive cash use when buying medication can be a means of avoiding attention from authorities because it is harder to track the use of cash, unlike insurance payments.

2. Regular Clinic Visits

If you or your loved ones frequently visit different clinics for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of a substance use disorder. One of the most common signs of doctor shopping is when you keep creating excuses to change your doctor to obtain more pills.

3. Constant Claims of Losing Pills

It is possible to forget your drugs somewhere or to lose them. However, if you are always complaining that you cannot find your prescription pills, you are likely making excuses to get more drugs to sustain addiction.

4. Preferring Out-of-State Doctors or Clinics

Information about your medical records and history with a particular health care provider does not spread far geographically. Doctor shoppers often evade state laws or suspicion from family members by obtaining medication from facilities far from home, especially out-of-state.

5. Lying About Doctor Appointments

You can deceive the authorities and clinics about your habit of doctor shopping, but it is challenging to fool family members and close friends. As such, doctor shoppers will not hesitate to lie about their routines, especially when suspicions about their daily activities arise.

6. Complaining About Medications Not Working

If your loved one is always complaining about the pain that the doctor prescribed medication for, the illness may be fake. However, do not be too quick to dismiss your loved one’s suffering as it could be genuine. Accompany the victim to seek prompt medical attention. If the person is uncomfortable with your presence in the doctor’s office, you should probe further.

7. Doctor Shopping for Stronger Drug Versions

When you reach the tolerance stage of drug abuse, it is typical to use it unusually, like crushing and snorting. The situation usually occurs when attempts to change doctors fail. Some drug abusers combine prescription medication with other illicit drugs, such as heroin and meth, to increase the effects.

8. Multiple Prescriptions From Different Doctors

You need to be concerned when you find many different bottles of the same medicine in your loved one’s possession. If the labels on the containers indicate that the prescriptions are from various doctors, this is one of the clear signs of doctor shopping.

9. Anxiety Due to a Doctor’s Visit

Shopping for doctors is illegal. Therefore, you may feel nervous about visiting your doctor, especially when you know that what you are doing is illegal. Anxiety crops up when you are afraid that the law is about to catch up with you.

Stop Doctor Shopping and Contact Renaissance Recovery Today

Fortunately, rehab centers have several treatment programs that can help you or your loved one overcome anxiety and prescription drug abuse. Some useful programs include:

Understand, there are many signs of drug addiction. If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, contact Renaissance, a drug rehab in orange county The journey to recovery is challenging, but Renaissance Recovery Center can help you complete it successfully. Get in touch with us to overcome doctor shopping and receive treatment for your substance use disorder.

Contact Renaissance Recovery at [Direct] today to get started.866.330.9449



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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