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Why would doctors go around prescribing drugs knowing that addiction is possible?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by riptroggave, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. riptroggave

    riptroggave Member

    Why would doctors go around prescribing drugs knowing that the drugs they are prescribing are addictive and that their patients will eventually become severely dependent on them? do they do this out of necessity and concern for the patient or out of greed? i aspire to be a physician one day but there are so many things i see doctors are doing these days that i don't like. it's a huge turn off for me in terms of my respect for this profession. am i being over critical or are my feelings justified?
    crc3thebest likes this.
  2. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    There are a couple of reasons for this as I have learned over the years by talking to different people. The drugs are put out on the market for doctors to prescribe as they can really help people who are in dire need. Many non addicts will refuse the strong drugs unless they are really bad off because they do make you very loopy. I have refused potent drugs from my doctors before. There are also people in this world that are very manipulative and will lie to their doctors in hopes of getting narcotics prescribed to them.

    Some prescription drugs are addictive and it is even worse when they are given to someone who has an addictive personality.
  3. portraitofjs

    portraitofjs Member

    Here's the thing: for chronic pain patients, "addiction" is a relative term. If you have chronic pain that makes it impossible or difficult to function normally, an addictive drug is a better alternative than being in constant pain. The same goes for terminal or palliative care - the main priority is alleviating the patient's suffering, and doing your best to keep the dose at a controllable level that allows the patient to function optimally.

    Doctors are not idiots - they know these drugs are addictive. That's why there are so many restrictions on prescribing them. For a while in the 90s, Purdue went around marketing OxyContin as being a "less addictive" form of oxycodone - we all know how well that turned out! It was marketed most heavily in Appalachia, where loads of people had ruined their bodies from constant manual labor and desperately needed pain relief. For the doctors of that time, it really seemed like a good option - until the abuse epidemic started.

    So, the real answer is, yes, doctors know that they are addictive and only prescribe them when they feel they can be used safely. But doctors can and do make mistakes - and many people exploit the trust of doctors in order to gain access to narcotic drugs. There are also unscrupulous doctors out there who are all too happy to prescribe drugs just so they can make money, which I think is despicable.
  4. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Your feelings are justified. If you want to be a doctor some day, you just need to decide what kind of doctor you want to be. There are pain management specialists out there that prescribe tons of pain meds every day for people with chronic pain issues. In their eyes they feel they are helping their patients when nobody else will. Then you have other doctors out there who, no matter what the issue is, will not prescribe narcotic pain meds. If they have a patient with a serious issue they will refer them to another doctor who will prescribe the pain meds but they won't do it themselves. A lot of this has to do with the pressure the DEA has put on doctors. Doctors who over prescribe medications can lose their licenses. Doctors are afraid of this and the majority of doctors are cutting back on prescribing those type of medications. The chances of a patient becoming addicted to these medications is very slim, they would have to have had problems before hand or have an addictive personality in order to become addicted to them. Physical dependency, however, is completely different, and is almost always expected to happen with any long term use of any medication. I don't know if that answers your question or if that was at all what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.
  5. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Many doctors are actually unaware of some of the more serious side-effects of drugs.

    This is how most doctor surgeries are run:

    A sales representative from a drug company will visit the doctors and give them incentives like: trips away, bottles of wine, trinkets, theatre tickets, paid study leave etc… then the doctors will stock and prescribe that particular brand of drug.

    (I personally look at this as a bribe rather than an incentive but it is how the whole medical industry works and has done for years).

    Most doctors are insanely busy and don’t have time to research each new drug themselves. So often when a doctor is prescribing a drug to you, he really only knows what the sales representative has told him about it.

    And obviously the sales representative is going to present the drug in the best light possible and leave out any nasty side-effects.

    That is why it is so important for you to do your own research into anything the doctor prescribes for you. Either he does not have time to tell you or he does not know himself.

    On the other side of the fence, you also have doctors that solely become doctors to make money and they really don’t care about their patients health at all. So if you become addicted to a drug, they will be happy because they will not lose a possible cash cow in you.

    Of course there are ethical healers around but they are normally in the non-drug fields like: nutritionist, herbalist, traditional chinese medicine, nutritionist etc…

    You must remember there are good and bad people in every profession and the medical industry is no exception. So become a doctor by all means but just follow a strong ethical path.
  6. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    Yeah, there have been too many prowling foxes in sheep's clothing. I think, the best way to find out is ask your doctor. Ask medical professionals why. Do research and study. With evidences, make a difference speaking in truth with love and genuine care. Spread the truth intelligently.
  7. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Do they really ' go around prescribing drugs knowing that the drugs they are prescribing are addictive and that their patients will eventually become severely dependent on them"? I'd hate to think that's what's happening. Until I came to the forum I never really gave much thought to the whole question of prescription drugs and how potentially dangerous they can be. I think in my ignorance I took a lot for granted. I thank you posters for some useful insights. On this subject I found this interesting read.
  8. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    Many of the potentially addictive drugs are absolutely necessary for treatment. However, many docs "lose" track of how many times a patient has asked for/received a certain med, making the potential for addiction higher. Part of this is, yes, poor care. But, most of it probably the doctor having waaaay too many patients. (there's a shortage) Additionally, many patients have conditions that cannot be treated another way, and daily life is excruciating for them.

    I am super careful with the meds I prescribe. I keep close track of all of my patients who need things like narcotics to treat pain. I also choose alternative methods as often as possible. I don't have many addicted patients, and the ones I do have came to me that way. (and we're working on their addiction.)

    As for greed: I make zero, zilch, nada, on these patients. I am in it for the patient. The money is average for me (and I'm happy w/ it).

    Please don't let a few bad apples or the media skew your hopes of becoming a doctor. It is insanely rewarding, and I sleep well at night knowing that I have helped people. I know that I make a difference, and I'm teaching my colleagues about addictive medication prescribing. It is catching on, and as a group, we have fewer and fewer addicted patients all the time.

    So, you can make a difference for patients, and you can change the face of healthcare.
  9. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I think you are being over-critical.
    I have been blessed to know a few Doctors who are really great people.
    They tell me it's a tough thing to prescribe narcotics.
    But they also tell me that if taken properly there isn't a big chance of dependency.
  10. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    A good doctor knows that if a patient dependent on a drug to help with pain or something , can work, play and live pain free it's worth it. The alternative would be suffering and not being able to work, play and live without a miserable existence. A good doctor will decide if the benefits out weigh the negative side effects. All cases are different. A good doctor is open minded and takes the patients needs into account before prescribing any meds. A good patient does his homework and researches all meds a doctor suggests before willingly accepting it.
  11. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Some join for moral reasons and the passion, many join for the money. Some advise against addictive medicine, other secretly suggest Vikodin for back pain, hoping for a returning customer. Don't let this turn you off. Every profession has some sort of corruption. Strive to be the exception to the ever growing margin of deception in medicine.
    I've taken natural supplements that CURED my allergies. Modern medicines were all temporary. Of course some doctors just want you in and out the office and pay them for having to deal with your "minor inconveniences"
  12. crc3thebest

    crc3thebest Community Champion

    Sometimes, we forget doctors are there to support us in our times of need. Perhaps, the answer begins to be unveiled in the question, do they get paid to prescribe medication. The other answer is our free will of accepting the prescription.
  13. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Try to picture someone who comes into your office and they are in pain. You know what could help them and believe that once the drug has done it's job the patient will stop using it. What would you do?

    You'd prescribe a pain-killer. That's the doctor's job. They diagnose what the problem is and tell you how to cure it. I don't think doctors prescribe addictive drugs because they are driven by some selfish motive. They just have to. The big pharmaceutical companies have waged war against alternative medicines after all and made sure that there are no good alternatives [to the drugs they make] or those good alternatives remain relatively unknown.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    People can get addicted to any form of drug so if that was the case they'd have to not prescribe any. Doctors wouldn't deliberately want people to get addicted, it's just if they have to take a particular drug, there's not a great deal a doctor can do.

    Either take the drug and there's a chance you'll get addicted, or don't take it and carry on suffering. I know which option I'd choose...
  15. Liv6

    Liv6 Member

    It unfortunately is not up to doctors to double-check to make sure that the patient is not getting addicted on whatever medication they're prescribing. Some doctors are more than willing to write up a prescription for a patient that may not necessarily need it because they're getting kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies. If this was eliminated, I'm sure that doctors would not be over-prescribing for patients. I know that when I got my wisdom teeth removed, I was prescribed Vicodin for the pain. However, after I was finished with the dosage that was recommended for me through my healing process, I still had pills left over. I think this is a huge problem for most people, and that definitely contributes to addiction. I think it's a combination of both the doctors' and the pharmaceutical companies' fault.
  16. E.Mil

    E.Mil Community Champion

    It really depends on the physician and the patient's needs at that time. Some patients might need to have a certain type of medication even though it can have addictive qualities. On the other hand there are those doctors that are in it for the money and do not really care for their patients.