To test the assertion that disabled physicians are loose prescribers and clinically meaningful contributors to the diversion of controlled prescriptions, an anonymous survey of physicians in a confidential treatment program in Ohio was conducted to compare pre- and post-recovery: (1) self-reported number of controlled drug prescriptions written, and (2) self-rated appropriateness of prescribing practices. Forty (50%) of the surveyed physicians responded. Opioids alone showed a post recovery reduction in the number of prescriptions (-4.5; 95% CI: −9.5 to −0.5). The volume of prescribing in all controlled drug categories was small from both a law enforcement and clinical perspective. Respondent’s self-assessment of prescribing practices indicated conservative pre-, and more conservative post-recovery prescribing, increasing from 2.0 in stimulants (CI: 1.0-4.0), to 3.5 in sedatives (CI: 1.0-6.0). Despite limitations, this initial data provides evidence to refute the assertion that disabled physicians are loose prescribers and meaningful contributors to the diversion of controlled prescriptions.
- Drug abuse
- Recovering physicians