The Ultimate Guide to Prescription Drug Abuse

The Ultimate Guide to Prescription Drug Abuse: The Problems and Solutions

Get the eBook FREE!

Sign up and receive a FREE copy of "The ULTIMATE GUIDE to Prescription Drug Abuse: The Problems & Solutions"

  • LEARN MORE  about how every 4 minutes someone is sent to treatment
  • HELP STOP  doctor shopping and diversion
  • DISCOVER  how the current administration says it will reduce drug use by 15%

The case of West Virginia and too many doctor shoppers

A state panel sent more than 2,500 letters to medical professionals across West Virginia, warning that their patients could be “doctor shopping” for prescription drugs.

West Virginia continues to be Ground Zero for the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

The state’s Board of Pharmacy committee discovered hundreds of patients who were receiving pain-pill prescriptions from as many as 13 different doctors.  One man apparently went to 34 different doctors in just one year.  That is a serious commitment to doctor shopping.   


West Virgina has their own Prescription Monitoring Program - called the Controlled Substance Monitoring Program – which is supposed to be the statewide system that medical professionals use to check if a patient is in fact doctor shopping.

The purpose of a PDMP is to keep up-to-date and accurate records of all prescriptions that are fulfilled by the pharmacy. If all of the physicians are using than the system, then they would be able to reduce doctor shoppers.

However, hundreds of patients routinely slip through the cracks because for several reasons.

First, not everybody is using the monitoring program regularly.

Second, the Pharmacists are not updating their prescription information into the system regularly.

Third, the data is not real-time, and it is not always reliable, so even if a doctor is checking the system regularly, it cannot be confirmed that the data is up-to-date and accurate.

Because of this, the prescription drug epidemic continues unabated.  Law Enforcement officials are not able to investigate claims or prosecute perpetrators.


It is a self-fulfilling cycle.  West Virigina needs to find a way to create a system that is easy to use for medical professionals, that can exist seamlessly with current electronic heath record systems, and that provides accurate and real-time information. When that happens, physicians will in turn be able to receive good intel, make better judgments on their patients, and prescribe painkillers more reliably and effectively.

It is time to take a stand.

What happens to physicians who overprescribe opioids?

Just last week a NJ-based physician had his license revoked for prescribing “opioids in large quantities and strengths.” (article)

The doctor was accused of providing a steady supply of painkillers and anti-depressants to patients with little or no medical justification.

The complaint alleges “patients were able to secure pills even when their urine samples showed they were already abusing heroin, cocaine, or morphine.”

This story is nothing new.  There are always stories of physicians who try to skirt the law.

What is interesting is that he was using the NJ state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to check his patients. But even with that knowledge he continued to over-prescribe to his patients. And he was able to do this for years before eventually being caught.

Now he must appear before the Attorney General’s Office, and will most likely have his license revoked, or suspended.

The fact of the matter is that this physician, and many more like him, would be detected much more quickly if there was a system that existed with better checks and balances, and more oversight of the users in its network.

The current existing PDMPs are only able to report data to the physicians of medications that a patient receives.  They cannot provide information about the physician’s prescribing habits.

Hospital systems would certainly be interested in a system that could accomplish both of those goals at once.

Do Prescription Monitoring Programs actually aid drug abusers?


Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, or PDMPs, are currently up and running in 42 states, with six other states having passed laws to enact them soon. It is generally considered that PDMPs are the most effective solution for tracking the flow of opioid prescription medications. Among several states that have reported success after implementation of the […]

Continue reading...

Amazing Fact About Every Mass Shooting Incident in the USA

Has anybody else read the recent article on The Liberty Crier? It is titled Nearly Every Mass Shooting in the Last 20 Years Has One Thing in Common. You can probably already guess one that one thing is that they all have in common. In nearly every single mass shooting incident that has taken place […]

Continue reading...

Causes and Contributing Factors of Drug Use

Multiple factors are believed to account for the rise in prescription drug abuse in the United States. Motivations to purposely abuse drugs include the desire to become intoxicated; to counter anxiety, pain, or sleep problems; and to enhance cognition. Unintended misuse can be due to misperceptions about drug safety, use of medications other than as […]

Continue reading...

Stories like this just scream for tighter controls when filling prescriptions

 In the LA Times on January 27th, there was an article about a pharmacy in Burbank that dispensed painkillers and other narcotics to five young patients who later died of overdoses. The pharmacy catered to the patients of two physicians whom were later convicted of crimes in connection with their prescribing. The pharmacy also had its license […]

Continue reading...

20 Risk Conditions for Controlled Substance Prescriptions

Attached is a brief list of 20 potential risk conditions that should generate a risk warning at the physician or pharmacy level when prescribing controlled medications: Controlled prescriptions from more than 1 provider within the last 30 days. More than two controlled medications filled at more than two separate pharmacies in the past 30 days. Pill […]

Continue reading...

The Challenge for Physicians and Public Policymakers

ScriptGuard Shield

Nowadays, it is not easy to be a prescriber that writes a large amount of controlled substance prescriptions on a daily basis.  The physician must be up to date on the proper use of pain medications and treatments. The physician must be aware of all of their patients, their prescription history, and their predilection towards […]

Continue reading...

A test case of a woman with an Oxycontin prescription

Let me share an example with you  that has actually occurred recently: A 67-year old female is getting Oxycontin from her primary doctor, and her Oncologist.  She is referred to a pain doctor for evaluation as she is still suffering.  The pain doctor may not only be unaware that she is getting Oxycontin from both […]

Continue reading...

Is it possible to have a physicians/pharmacist collaboration tool?

Currently there is no tool to effectively monitor prescription drug activity for every patient, validate the Doctor Patient encounter, and make that encounter available immediately to any other licensed medical provider or pharmacist in any other zip code, using any other software, Electronic Health Record, or Electronic Prescribing solution. The US Health System risk rests […]

Continue reading...