Forging Prescriptions

Forging a prescription is one method of illegally acquiring pharmaceutical drugs for personal use or profit. Pain Physician[1] explains physicians consider the following to be the three most common methods of controlled prescription drug diversion:

  • Doctor shopping (when patients obtain controlled drugs from multiple doctors)
  • Patient deception or manipulation of doctors
  • Forged or altered prescriptions
Forged prescriptions contribute to our growing prescription drug abuse and addiction problem. They allow individuals to use more of a drug than a doctor is willing to prescribe. They allow prescription medicines to enter the black market.

Prescriptions can be forged or altered in several ways. The Drug Enforcement Administration[2] shares that individuals may steal prescription pads. These can then be used to write prescriptions for fictitious individuals or for individuals who do not need the medication. These prescription pads may be, “printed with a different call back number that is answered by an accomplice to verify the prescription.” Other drug users may simply call in their own prescription without a prescription pad and use this same method of false phone verification. Computers also open new channels for prescription forgery. As new security measures are put in place, new methods of prescription fraud develop.

Who Forges Prescriptions?

No matter the reason or method for a forged prescription, falsifying medical information signifies a substance abuse problem. Forgery comes with serious consequences. It is considered a felony. Fines, jail time, job loss and more are real possibilities. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence[3] shares:

“Alcohol and drugs are implicated in an estimated 80% of offenses leading to incarceration in the United States such as domestic violence, driving while intoxicated, property offenses, drug offenses, and public-order offenses…Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted. Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest.”

Crime and addiction are related. This isn’t because individuals who use drugs are “bad people.” Good people, average people, professionals, students, neighbors and friends all become addicted. Prescription drug abuse often begins innocently and with a legitimate, needed prescription. As drug abuse progresses, addiction develops. Addiction changes how your brain functions. It changes how you think and speak. It changes how you act and what you are willing to do. The American Society of Addiction Medicine[4] (ASAM) explains a defining characteristic of addiction is, “that preoccupation with, obsession with and/or pursuit of rewards (e.g., alcohol and other drug use) persist despite the accumulation of adverse consequences.” Individuals addicted to prescription medications continue to use them despite potential or experienced consequences. Individuals forging prescriptions are often aware of the risks involved. Because of the effects of addiction, getting drugs becomes more important than the methods by which they are acquired.

Ending Prescription Drug Abuse

Good people get in trouble because of addiction, prescription fraud and other related life problems. This trouble can be avoided or mitigated. Treatment can minimize charges. Treatment before legal trouble can save a world of trouble and expense. ASAM explains, “Addiction professionals and persons in recovery know the hope that is found in recovery. Recovery is available even to persons who may not at first be able to perceive this hope, especially when the focus is on linking the health consequences to the disease of addiction.” The same is true of criminal consequences. Treatment offers hope. It offers a future free from fraud, lies and addiction. The Canyon can provide the foundation for this future. Our prescription drug treatment program is tailored to your specific recovery needs. Through a variety of traditional and nontraditional therapies, we will help you develop a positive relationship with yourself and awaken your authentic relationship with life. If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse or addiction, contact us at The Canyon today.


[1]  http://www.cfbhn.org/Documents/RX/National%20Drug%20Control%20Policy%20and%20Prescription%20Drug%20Abuse%20Facts%20and%20Fallacies.pdf. “National Drug Control Policy and Prescription Drug Abuse: Facts and Fallacies.” Pain Physician. 2007. Web. 25 Oct 2016.

[2]    https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/brochures/pharmguide.htm. “A Pharmacist’s Guide to Prescription Fraud.” Drug Enforcement Agency. Feb 2000. Web. 25 Oct 2016.

[3]    https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol-drugs-and-crime. “Alcohol, Drug and Crime.” National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. 27 Jun 2015. Web. 25 Oct 2016.

[4]    http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction. “Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine.” 19 Apr 2011. Web. 25 Oct 2016.


Top