This is not correct at all Joan, there certainly are legal limits on prescribing narcotics. There are both prescribing guidelines (i.e., you cannot prescribe over a certain amount of Vicodin or Norco due to the Tylenol in it causing kidney damage) that put the provider at increased liability as well as legality issues. The DEA closely monitors all federally controlled prescribing and easily recognizes abuse patterns and will audit a prescriber's records if abnormal prescribing occurs. This means that if a prescriber is writing pain medications in excess of the max approved dosing he or she may be audited and potentially lose their license to practice medicine or have their DEA license pulled (meaning they can no longer prescribe narcotics for any reason.)
I'm a prescriber and I've dealt with a great amount of pain management. The bottom line is that pain management is by far the worst part of our jobs. While essential for some patients, abuse is so widespread now that we spend 300% more time on a single pain management patient compared to any other type of patient. Many patients take Percocet or something similar for back pain but then demand another pain med. when they stub their toe. Then, when we try to explain that pain is pain and the Percocet will work for pain anywhere, we get irate patients screaming down the halls and throwing things.
After reading your comment Joan, I would say you have a smart doctor who understands the law and the liability associated with your pain medication. The problem is most likely related to your desire to interpret the situation as you wish rather than listen to what he is saying in an effort to protect you and his license.
Some exciting news though, Vicodin is soon to be reclassified to a Class 2 narcotic, meaning it will be controlled just as closely as OxyContin!View Thread