The FDA is warning veterinarians that opioid abusers could be turning to animal clinics to get their hands on narcotics.
Veterinarian Dr. Michael Henricks from Faithful Friends Veterinary Clinic says he’s been practicing for the last 10 years and he’s seen this becoming more of a problem within the last few years.
“Red flag, they come in and ask for a drug by name,” said Dr. Michael Henricks.
Henricks says the American Veterinary Medical Association and other groups have asked veterinarians to look for certain signs and ask certain questions.
“People are just looking for where they can get it. And they know we handle the same drugs. It’s definitely something we’re made aware of and we see,” said Henricks. “People will call in and have some story as to lost medication, or left it behind on a trip or they dumped out the bottle.
When Henricks prescribes medications, he says he takes appropriate steps to try to make sure the pet is the one actually taking the proper medications and watches the amount on refills.
“We do a very thorough physical exam to identify the pain,” said Henricks. “We don’t try to go overboard. Very controlling with the length of prescription.”
“I think as they tighten the reigns on the human side, as far as prescribing, people are looking for outlets and they realize that veterinary medicine is one of those outlets. And it’s good that we’re talking about it between pharmacists and veterinarians, pharmacists and MDs,” said Henricks.
Dr. Henricks adds that recently they’ve received a letter saying online prescriptions could change to help prevent the abuse of medicine.