Most everyone knows that opioid addiction is an increasing problem in many parts of the world and various steps are being taken. One of these is more closely examining the source of the drugs. Doctors that have been prescribing large amounts are being scrutinized more closely, and border officials are discovering new ways in which the pills are being smuggled in from overseas.
However, another type of doctor has become involved in such investigations and you probably weren’t guessing that it could be your local vet. Animals receive medication for pain just like humans do and, as it turns out, many of those drugs are identical, including opioids like fentanyl and hydromorphone.
Investigation has revealed that addicts in search of a fix are now taking wounded or otherwise ill pets to their vets eager to receive prescriptions for pain medication. However, they are instead ingesting the drugs themselves and ensuring a steady supply by “vet shopping.” Yes, just as addicts used to bounce from one doctor to another in search of what they desired, some individuals are doing the same with vets. Others are using the opportunity to sell the drugs to other addicts. As a result, authorities are finding animal medication circulating on the street.
This scheme is working because vets, unlike doctors, do not have restrictions placed on them when it comes to prescriptions. While many officials have expressed agreement for a plan to put restrictions on the way vets can write scripts, others are worried that animal pain management could also be compromised in the process.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever had to give a pet pain medication of the sort described above? Do you think there is a happy medium or do we need to place limitations on how vets operate in this area? Click the comment button and let us know!