Opioid Addicts Seen Taking Vet-Issued Pain Meds
Opioid addicts are taking their pets’ Rx (prescription) painkillers, veterinarians say. The problem has become so profound that some states are taking action to prevent pill-popping pet-owners from using their dog and cat companions as enablers.
Veterinarians do not usually prescribe common narcotic opioids, like oxycodone and fentanyl. But vets do dispense other heavy drugs like hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opioid often used to treat nagging coughs in dogs, and alprazolam (Xanax), an addictive benzodiazepine used to treat household animals for anxiety.
But the most common pet drug that addicts are taking is tramadol, an opioid pain medication prescribed to both animals and humans.
Vets say they’ve seen an increase in the number of patients making repeated visits to their offices in search of such drugs, prompting some states to add them to a list of prescribers required to report suspicious activity.
The 1st sign that often suggests something is amiss is when a pet-owner comes in and asks for a drug by name.