A GP trainee was reported to the GMC following prescription fraud picked up by a local pharmacy. He had been writing prescriptions for diazepam and codeine for his own use, and found he suffered withdrawal symptoms when unable to obtain the opiate tablets.
He was suspended initially for 18 months, following an IOP (Interim Orders Panel) hearing at the GMC. Regular hair testing was carried out and he was allocated a Case Supervisor and a Psychiatrist by the GMC. Unfortunately he relapsed following divorce proceedings by his wife, but was able to get help to become abstinent again and has been drug-free for several years now.
He still attends the BDDG and Narcotics Anonymous. He did not work for nearly five years, but has now been ‘discharged’ by the GMC and obtained a place on a GP training rotation and continues to do well.
This case shows that addiction to opiod tablets can cause just the same withdrawals and life problems as the major opiate drugs.