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Many Painkiller Abusers Use Doctors to Get Their Pills

Abusers of prescription painkillers increasingly turn to multiple doctors to gain their pills, according to research that indicates physicians need to be more vigilant when recommending the medications.

Of the 12 million people who abuse the medicines each year, two-thirds obtained the pills after about six months of use through prescriptions from one or more physicians or by buying them from friends, family or drug dealers, according to a study today in JAMA Internal Medicine. A second report in the journal showed a number of Tennessee users of painkillers got their drugs from at least four doctors and pharmacies each year.