When someone is deep in the addiction to drugs, he or she would go great lengths just to fulfill his or her deadly desire. One of these acts of desperation is doctor shopping. This is when a person goes and consults different doctors just to gain a large number of prescription drugs for illegal use. Naturally, doctor shopping in Nevada and the rest of the country is outlawed as it violates standard drug laws. If you are faced with offenses stemmed from doctor shopping in Nevada, read the rest of the article and get the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.
How doctor shopping works
Doctor shopping in Nevada is, basically, going to different physicians to get a prescription from each (often fake or forged) to obtain a certain number of illegal drugs meant for use or distribution. For example, a man is first prescribed with an opioid such as a Vicodin. Due to the relief it gives, the man becomes addicted and engages in a prescription fraud and goes to three more doctors just to have a Vicodin from pharmacies.
This type of drug maneuver is common than what many think. Doctor shopping in Nevada is known to have been happening almost every day with Medicare suppliers around the country giving thousands of pills to patients with prescriptions in just a single month. A lot of physicians and pharmacists are keenly aware of doctor shopping and sometimes they just let it happen for their own profit.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the most common drugs obtained through doctor shopping are:
- Anabolic steroids such as Dianabol and Depo-testosterone
- Opioids such as Vicodin, fentanyl, and Oxycontin
- Depressants like Xanax
- Stimulants such as Concerta and Dexedrine
- Hallucinogens like Ketalar
How doctor shopping in Nevada violates drug laws
According to Nevada Revised Statutes 453.391, unlawfully taking controlled substances or a prescription from anyone in the medical field that can authorize dispensation of controlled substances while under treatment and being supplied with the respective drugs is guilty of doctor shopping in Nevada.
This kind of offense defies both drug and fraud laws in Nevada. And know that it is not the patient that can only get the receiving end of the punishment. It has established that the majority of physicians and pharmacists are fully aware when someone is performing doctor shopping so even they can face legal consequences. This is because they had let someone satisfy their addiction and made illegal drugs circulate.
How people guilty of doctor shopping is penalized
When found accountable for doctor shopping in Nevada, felony charges shall be imposed on the person, specifically a category C felony. This charge consists of punishments limited to one to five years in prison, a fine of not more than $1,000, and treatment programs if the offender is a drug addict.
Illegally prescribing can also turn to a category C felony charge that made graver by a revocation of a medical license.
How to defend yourself from doctor shopping charges
Charges of doctor shopping in Nevada can be burdensome especially if the defendant is a frail patient and legitimately only committed doctor shopping through a mistake. Some of these elements can be used for defense as well as the following:
- It was an honest mistake—for example, the patient was too weak or forgetful causing an error in judgment
- Drugs prescribed by the doctor were not claimed by the alleged shopper
If you are the prescribing doctor and you are accused of prescription fraud, you can use these defenses:
- You were fooled by the doctor shopper and the prescription looks too legitimate that you did not suspect it at all
- The patient entrapped you out of spite
- Your prescription form and signature were forged
Drug addiction or the intense need to sell drugs can have an individual turn to trickery just to get what they want. If you have not done this but are still falsely accused, it is best to have a legal defense in the form of a drug crimes attorney by your side to ensure that you are getting what is only rightful and just.