Medical professionals can find themselves in a difficult situation in regard to highly addictive painkilling drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. While these drugs can serve an important medical purpose for patients experiencing severe pain, they also carry the risk of addiction. It may be difficult for a doctor to know whether a patient is seeking the prescription drugs for legitimate medical purposes or improper uses. Some patients may seek painkillers from a variety of different doctors.
Physicians with access to these drugs face the potential risk of not only professional discipline and the loss of their medical licenses but also criminal charges if they are suspected of improperly providing these prescription drugs to individuals. A Nevada doctor is now facing drug charges for his alleged sale of these potent painkillers.
According to law enforcement authorities the doctor was not using these powerful drugs himself, but he is accused of selling them. Police conducted weeks of surveillance at the hospital at which this doctor maintain practicing privileges and authorities maintain that the doctor had sold the prescription drugs illegally.
The addiction to these painkillers can be as strong as that of regular street drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. For some reason legislators and other policy makers have decided that drug addiction is better treated as a crime requiring imprisonment rather than as a medical condition requiring therapy and rehabilitation. It seems likely that if the individuals who use these drugs illegally were given the resources to return to a healthier lifestyle these sorts of situations would no longer be an issue.
Source: Channel 8 News, "Doctor Arrested was Co-Chair at Centennial Hills Hospital," Stephen Jackson, April 12, 2012