Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Addiction and Pharmacy Fraud

Addiction and Pharmacy FraudRecently prescription drug addiction has become quite common. To satisfy their addictions, many addicts engage in prescription fraud, which means they attempt to obtain prescription drugs from pharmacies through forged, altered, fraudulent or illegitimate prescriptions.

Ways That Addicts Commit Pharmacy Fraud

Prescription drug addicts need relatively large quantities of their drug of choice on a regular basis. However, due to government controls on prescription drugs it can be difficult for addicts to procure enough drugs to satisfy their addictions. Drug-seeking addicts will try many methods of obtaining their drug of choice from a pharmacy including the following activities:

  • Steal a prescription pad from a doctor’s office and write their own prescriptions
  • Have a legitimate prescription re-printed or photocopied with a different call back number for verification of the prescription
  • Alter the amount of the prescription
  • Call in their own prescriptions and give their own telephone number for call back confirmation
  • Use a computer and the internet to create phony prescriptions from real or nonexistent doctors
  • Attempt to have the same prescription filled at different pharmacies
  • Attempt to have the prescription filled more often than directed
  • Claim to have lost their prescription
  • Show up at a hospital pharmacy or emergency room claiming to have a medical emergency
  • Attempt to pick up prescriptions written for other people

If you or a loved one engages in any of these behaviors, addiction may be the cause.

Signs of Forged or Fraudulent Prescriptions

Many prescribing physicians are conscientious professionals who adhere to medical ethics and laws regarding controlled substances. However, some unscrupulous physicians profit from writing prescriptions for illegitimate reasons, thereby making them illicit drug dealers. It is difficult to determine the extent of this type of fraud, but many professionals come under scrutiny when their patient dies of a drug overdose. It is understandable how a doctor could be tempted by the profits of this behavior, but it is still illegal and dangerous. Signs that a prescription may have been faked or forged include the following:

  • Prescription appears to have been altered
  • Prescription has been photocopied
  • Prescription is written in different handwriting or with different ink
  • Prescription is written in full without standard, accepted abbreviations
  • Prescription is printed or otherwise easy to read (doctors have notoriously illegible handwriting)
  • Quantities or dosage directions do not follow standard practice
  • Doctor writes significantly more prescriptions than other doctors in the area
  • Numerous people show up with prescriptions for the same drug
  • Doctor writes numerous prescriptions for a popular drug of abuse
  • Prescriptions for drug combinations that counteract each other, such as stimulants and sedatives

Questions about Pharmacy Fraud

If you have any questions about pharmacy fraud, or if you would like help finding treatment for prescription drug addiction, call us. Our helpline is toll free and counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions.

banner ad