Addicts often go to great lengths to get their drug of choice, even by lying to medical professionals. A popular drug among addicts, prescription pain pills, can be easily prescribed to anyone by a trusting doctor. An addict could enter a new doctor’s office complaining of fake pain and the doctor could write a prescription without thinking twice. If an addict sees this work once, he or she could go on to multiple doctors and get prescriptions from each. This is called doctor shopping, and it occurs in every one of 143 patients.
Doctor shopping only helps the cycle of addiction to continue. Yes, the addicts are at fault for lying to get drugs, but it is also the doctor’s fault for not doing a thorough exam to determine if a patient really needs the drugs or if they are abusing them. To help doctors more easily determine whether or not to prescribe certain medications, they can use the prescription drug monitoring program for their state.
A prescription drug monitoring program is a statewide database that collects information on substances dispensed in the state. If a doctor prescribes a patient a pain medication and enters it into the system, the next doctor that patient goes to will be able to see that. This completely eliminates the chances of doctor shopping and therefore lowers access to prescription drugs.