Veterinarians and the opioid epidemic

  • Opioid abuse affects not only professionals in human health but also veterinarians.
  • There is concern that clients may intentionally hurt their pets in the hopes of receiving prescription painkillers for themselves.
  • A woman was arrested for cutting her Golden Retriever with razor blades to use the dog’s pain medication herself.
  • The Food and Drug Administration issued a new resource for veterinarians, who stock and administer opioids. It offers steps veterinarians can take to curb abuse, including complying with state and federal regulations, being encouraged to use nonopioid alternatives, and to consider nonopioid protocols.
  • Veterinarians should have a safety plan in case they encounter a situation involving clients seeking opioids under the guise of treating their pets.
  • Local police departments can advise veterinarians about what to do in these situations.
  • Clients may be abusing opioids in the following situations: suspect injuries in a new patient, clients asking for specific medications by name, or asking for refills for lost or stolen medications.

Full article: https://www.avma.org/news/javmanews/pages/181015g.aspx