Doctor Shopping: What Is It And What Are The Penalties?

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Explore:  Doctor Shopping

Doctor shopping occurs when a drug abuser accumulates prescription drugs by obtaining multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors. For example, if John Doe is maintaining a painkiller addiction through doctor shopping, he would visit a physician, fake his symptoms and obtain a prescription. Then he would visit a different doctor and repeat the process, without disclosing the previous prescription to the second doctor. John could carry out this ploy over and over.

If arrested in Ohio, he could be prosecuted for the crime of “deception to use or obtain a dangerous drug.” To win a conviction in a doctor shopping case, the state must prove that the defendant used deception, which the statute defines as “causing another to be deceived by any false or misleading representation, by withholding information, by preventing another from acquiring information … to acquire illegal drugs.” The penalties for doctor shopping are as follows:

  • Schedules III, IV and V — If the drug falls into one of these categories, you face anywhere from fifth-degree felony charges (up to one year in prison) to second-degree felony charges (up to eight years in prison).
  • Schedules I and II — Punishment for drugs in these categories range from a fourth-degree felony (up to 18 months in prison) to a first-degree felony (up to 11 years in prison).

Conviction of a prescription drug crime can have devastating consequences for your personal and professional life.