View Full Version : Caught doctor shopping 2 years ago & still have questions

01-26-17, 08:12 PM
Hi everyone,

I was caught doctor shopping in VA in 2015. I'm wondering if there's anyone who can help answer some of the lingering questions I've had since then.

Summary: I was legally prescribed Adderall by one doctor for five years. I started off with a small Rx (10mg TID) that was eventually increased to 30mg TID. I would only take it M-F, during the work week. About four years into my prescription, I went to a festival and spent all weekend experimenting with it recreationally with friends. I loved it.

I went home and started taking more and more of my pills than prescribed. I started running out of pills early. I started purchasing pills from a friend. Fast forward a few months: I was thoroughly addicted to Adderall and was seeing two different psychiatrists, my original one (Doctor #1) and a new one (Doctor #2), obtaining a monthly Adderall script from each (30mg TID & 20mg BID).

Very stupid, I know. I did it with full knowledge that it was illegal but was so messed up from abusing the Rx that I thought I could get away with it. And I did, for about a year until I was caught by Doctor #1. I went to his office for my scheduled appointment and the first words out of his mouth were, "We need to talk about your Adderall problem. I received a letter from the state telling me that you're also receiving a prescription from Doctor #2..."

The next 20 minutes were kind of a blur because I was freaking out. He had me sign something that, I believe, stated I was authorizing him to contact my other doctor and let her know what was up, as well as my acknowledgement that he was in contact with "the state." I remember asking him, "What happens next? What do I do?" He told me he wasn't going to prescribe me any more Adderall, that I should only continue seeing one doctor...either himself or Doctor #2, and that I needed to get help for my problem. I asked him, "Am I going to get arrested?" He shrugged and said "I don't know."

I was humiliated and terrified. I thanked him for being my doctor and said goodbye, then got the hell out of there. I was convinced I was going to go to prison. I called doctor #2 once I got back to my house and left her a voicemail detailing the situation, because I wanted her to hear it from me.

Both doctors ended up calling me that evening, Doctor #1 to say he had left a voicemail with Doctor #2 and wished me luck with recovery, and Doctor #2 to say she had received a voicemail from Doctor #1 but didn't want to call him back. She kept asking me what his specific words to me were earlier that day. It seemed like she was freaking out about getting in trouble herself. She told me that she didn't want to see me as a patient again and hung up the phone.

I had no choice but to quit Adderall cold turkey. Actually, I wouldn't even call it "quitting," because I was professionally cut off against my will. Deep down, I'm grateful that I was caught as my life I know my problem would have gotten much worse. The day that I got caught, I began my adult life without Adderall. For the next several months, I lived in fear of every official-looking letter and every unknown phone call I received. But nothing ever happened.

I never received a letter from "the state," my insurance company, etc. after I got caught, which was about 1.5 years ago. I never heard from either doctor again.

I haven't been to another physician since then, because I'm afraid and embarrassed that they might pull up my history with Adderall and...I don't know...judge me or something? And I'm afraid that the next time I go to a pharmacy to get anything filled, they'll treat me like a criminal (I assume I've been red-flagged, but I don't totally understand this system). I know it wouldn't be unfounded, but I'm just afraid and deeply reluctant.

What I still have questions about is my status in the medical system. What database(s) have I likely been flagged in? What does this mean for me moving forward? If I see another psychiatrist down the line, will they know what happened and not want to be my doctor? Will it be difficult for me to obtain prescriptions for the rest of my life?

This is the first time I've ever discussed what happened, with anyone, since the incident. Thank you for giving me a space to let it out. If anyone can provide me with any insight into my situation, I would be so appreciative.

01-27-17, 05:16 AM
I think it might have a little to do with what kind of prescription drug monitoring you have in your state and whether your doctors were aware of it, and whether a new doctor would see it. I always thought it was just the basics, what meds you are prescribed and from whom. I dont know if that stuff hangs around or if it disappears as time goes by. In theory I would like to think that as long as you are not currently getting those scripts, that the info in that database wouldnt pop up but I am not sure. Maybe a pharmacist or student or someone like that is around here to shed some light on it.
You shouldnt be afraid to see a doc though. Its not good for you to avoid medical care over this but I get why you are afraid.
Congrats on stopping though, addictions are brutal

01-28-17, 12:52 AM
Doctors treat criminals ... gangsters ... drug abusers ... people who lie, cheat, steal from their mothers, overeat ... Seriously, they are not judgmental ... They just want us to get better ... and giving them the blunt truth, helps them help us to get better.

Doctors are shockingly nonjudgmental ... because they realize we all are all flawed and that none of us live perfectly healthy lives ...

So doctors won't shame you ... They really won't ... In fact, I don't see from your story that either of these doctors tried to shame you ... You panicked and worried about getting arrested ... You rejected yourself.

Time for you to deal with the shame and the panic and I'm sensing, the isolation. I say isolation because if you had talked to other people or researched this topic, you would not have gotten so terrified about getting arrested. You would have quickly gathered information.

I'm not even sure doctors can legally report to law authorities what you did. That's not their job ... There is some confidentiality ... and probably a pharmacist called them ... or DEA called them to report your behavior ... but your behavior was so low-level in terms of drug abuse and law-breaking ...

So you're depriving yourself of good care because of shame. Please do not fall into a permanent trap based on shame. Somewhere along the way you developed the crazy notion (I had it as well) that we can't make mistakes in life. Well we can and we do, and if doctors didn't treat people who make major mistakes, who the heck would they treat.

Seriously ... time to get to forgiving yourself ... You rejected and ran from the doctors it seemed to me. I don't see that they ran from you ...

Start, if you want, by seeing a counselor to get your confidence up about disclosing about the abuse you engaged in ... or find a doctor who deals with drug abuse and start there! ... But get right back to a doctor ... Take a friend if you need to as support as you come clean ... and then you and the new doc will work out a plan to limits your temptations to "game" the system.

Hang in there!!!! Time to drop that shame.


01-30-17, 12:12 PM
Thank you both so much for responding. I feel much less afraid now. I'll continue to do more research so I'm more informed and will schedule an overdue appointment with my primary care MD.

Little Missy
01-30-17, 05:53 PM
Thank you both so much for responding. I feel much less afraid now. I'll continue to do more research so I'm more informed and will schedule an overdue appointment with my primary care MD.

You know what? Sometimes doctors will have you sign a private agreement to never do that again and you can begin treatment again.

01-30-17, 06:04 PM
You have ADHD, drug dependency isn't uncommon, it can occur with the medication as well sometimes.

If you're looking to get back on medication because you're struggling to get by, then doctors do have options available. They can prescribe meds that are harder to abuse. Such as patches for example.

Never be afraid. Doctors are there to help people, regardless. Addiction issues are no exception.

01-31-17, 08:18 PM
And I'm reminded here of the Oxycontin addiction/abuse crisis that is occurring in some communities.

Doctors are aggressively trying to help these people ... no judgment ... and many of these people went doctor shopping and submitted rx's to multiple pharmacies ... and then some end up on heroin ... at that level of abuse, sneaking around and lying to avoid detection is part and parcel of the addiction ...

Heck even law enforcement people these days don't want to arrest these folks ... law enforcement is trying to get them into addiction/medical treatment ... And many of these folks initially took the med for legitimate reasons of pain ... So their doctors will have to figure out ways to treat the pain and set up safeguards against addiction and abuse ...

And let's put your "sin" in perspective. You didn't murder anyone ... and even if you did, doctors would treat you.


02-07-17, 08:18 AM
If anyone's reading. I admire you for moving forward and I think some good advice above.

I just wanted to say that probably the 15 years or so that I should have been medicated made me sort of see my mind for what it is. Accumulated failure, loss and just dead inside accumulated a lot of bad memories.

Good reasons to never get into that situation again. Tempting though.