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What is “doctor shopping?”

The illegal possession of legal prescription drugs is a very big deal — and the authorities are cracking down on the problem all over the nation.

One of the ways that the authorities in Georgia can do that is by aggressively pursuing prosecutions under the state’s “doctor shopping” law.

It’s not illegal to see more than one doctor — but lying to a doctor could be

People with complex medical histories often see a variety of doctors for specialty care — and there’s nothing wrong with that. You also have every right to seek a second opinion about your condition or treatment, and it’s not illegal to look for a new doctor if you don’t like your current one.

However, Georgia Code Title 16. Crimes and Offenses § 16-13-43  makes it illegal to intentionally withhold information that your doctor should know before they write you a prescription for painkillers, muscle relaxers and other controlled substances.

In specific, you must tell each doctor what medications you are prescribed so that you aren’t given duplicate prescriptions for the same medication by different doctors. The goal of the law is basically to prevent someone from going from doctor-to-doctor solely for the purpose of getting more narcotics and other drugs than they should be prescribed. This applies whether they’re trying to feed their own addiction or plan to resell the meds to others.

The penalties for doctor shopping can be severe

Doctor shopping is a felony, and a conviction can result in up to $50,000 in fines and eight years in prison — on each charge.

If you’ve been accused of doctor shopping to get prescription drugs, make no mistake: The situation is serious. You need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

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