Drug Crimes, Substance Abuse Doctor Shopping in California

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I'm in a debate with someone over this topic and cannot find any definitive answers on the internet. Does anyone know if doctor shopping is illegal in California? I would assume it is...obviously. Is it a felony? I have some friends who's doctors have received letters from the DOJ listing all of the doctors they have seen and the scripts written but nothing ever happened to them and they even continued the shopping after stopping for a little while.
Another question, do all of the doctors and pharmacies visited get copies of the letter or complaint? From what I understand in California it is still in ints infancy stage and is more of a diversion and meant less to be punitive.
It can be a federal felony. As such, it takes a while for the feds to arrest people. I'm aware of someone who doctor shopped for percodan, sought treatment and maintained sobriety for 3 years, THEN got arrested for Doctor shopping. So the people that continue to doctor shop after waiting are not safe from prosecution.
Thank you for your reply raskalinkov. I am not sure what you mean by
"people that continue to doctor shop after waiting". Would you be so kind and clarify? I have to say that is a hard one after the person cleaned up and was sober for three years. Do you know that kind of punishment they received? Was the fact that they cleaned up and maintained sobriety taken into account?
Unfortunately, I don't know that much about the case. He was arrested in 1998, stopped drug use in 1995.

I'm not sure of his punishment, either. He was arrested, 1 month later seemingly fell off the face of the earth. I knew him in a professional capacity, he wasn't a friend.

I have some friends who's doctors have received letters from the DOJ listing all of the doctors they have seen and the scripts written but nothing ever happened to them and they even continued the shopping after stopping for a little while.

After I read that, I came up with the confusing sentence : continued to shop after waiting. IT sounded to me like some had notice that there was evidence they doctor shopped, so they stopped. But then after a while started up again thinking they were no longer under suspicion.

Good LUck to you. Wish I had more information.
One thing I just remembered about the guy. He was so much into percodan, he used to break his bones, show up to an ER and go "Oh, ah, yah I had something like this happen before. You know what really helped? I think it was called Percodan. . . could I please use that again?"
Oh my word!!! Broke bones? I don't know anyone that has gone that far. Asking for the particular drug is also a dead give away I would think. I was just reading that is still a rarely punished offense. I would think the guys getting in trouble are pretty major, right?..or someone specific complained about them. I have read on some sites that people are calling it a third degree felony and naming states like Florida so it appears some states do prosecute. The jail terms seem pretty serious. Is this something that is just starting to happen as computer technology becomes more advanced? I ask out of fear. I know many people that have Dr. shopped in the past but have stopped. Can they still get in trouble this far after the fact? Their shopping went on for maybe a few months at a time, quite a few times, then it was over. However, some have criminal records which would obviously hurt them even more.
I would imagine computer technology has something to do with it. Eventually it'll be near impossible to do, not because technology is evolving so much to "catch" criminals, but it is being used to make sure people don't take drugs in possible lethal combinations when taken together. Eventually it should be a shared national database with all pharmacies, but, that is a huge under-taking.

I would also think punishments should get more severe, as among children, the use of "pharmaceuticals" seems to be increasing greatly year after year, especially with the misguided belief that they can't harm, because they are "legal."

The case I mentioned probably is rare, and there may have been a lot I don't know about.

The most important thing is to stop with the Doctor shopping, and stay stopped.
Here is a little gem for you: check out the website for dawninfo dot samsha dot gov
Feds may be slow but they catch up eventually.

Your friend breaking hisher bones to get opiates is a very serious addiction.
So here is another little gem for you: check out buprenorphine dot samhsa dot gov slash bwns_locator

Buprenorphine can be expensive but not as expensive as life, the money for ER's (if he is even using his or her own name which is also a felony not to do), the cost of scoring from the "street pharmaicist", doctor shopping, etc.

Buprenorphine also known as Suboxone and Subutex helps with opiate withdrawal and with cravings and also blocks use of additional opiates. It is also an analgesic.
Hard to go wrong with all those benefits.

Physcians or addiciton psychiatrists must be liscensed to dispense it and often they are limited to 30 patients (last I heard). It also requires attending IOP (Intensive Outpatient Therapy).

Opiate withdrawal is incredibly painful and most wish they would die than go through it; so breaking bones is not surprising to me and Ive known a few to do so as its less painful than withdrawal. The long term of breaking bones is not good, Im sure youd agree.

Some who cant afford or access Bup do try methadone. Its a very indvidual decision. It can be difficult to get off of methadone and again Bup is often used to do so. Many clinics will offer both.

Again, the DAWN Network might be slow but whom do you know that keeps doing this and doesnt either get caught or OD? Trying methadone or Bup seems to be a more rational idea than detoxing in a jail or continuing to break your bones.

I will say that it is very sad that those with addictions end up in jails and prisons rather than getting the help that they need. Jails and prisons (and courts) often dont offer that help.

I hope your fiend isnt shooting his script as needle addiction can also be difficult. Some will shoot anything just to shoot. Often, their lives are in great despair and without finding some help through an alternative, it will be very painful either by withdrawal or incarceration or sadly worse. Help your firend get the help s/he needs. It aint about the "high" anymore - its about not being dope sick.

Id also like to note that far too many people dont use opiates (though yes some do) just to get high and too often it began with some medical reason like pain mangement and no health insurance. Its a sad state of affairs with out medical care.

I speak from experience as a counselor (not law, drug).
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