Opioid addiction: Doctor-shopping accounts for increased prescriptions and risk

Peace and Freedom

By Julie Power
Sydney Morning Herald

August 6, 2017

To satisfy her dependence on prescription opioids, Christine Drinnan visited 10 doctors in the last few months of her life, six in the 10 days immediately preceding her death from painkillers taken by millions of Australians every year.

In and out of rehabilitation over the years, Ms Drinnan had been admitted to hospital 15 times for overdoses caused by her addiction to these drugs, including three times in the months before her death.

Despite her growing opioid tolerance – the need to take higher and higher dosages of drugs to achieve the same opioid effect – doctors kept prescribing more, and in stronger doses.

Most were ignorant of her full…

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