Prescription drug abuse is usually thought to be perpetuated only by individuals visiting physicians, dentists, and others who treat humans. However, sometimes people use their pets to divert and abuse pharmaceuticals. Veterinarians can prescribe virtually any prescription drug, making them a potential target of drug seekers looking for opioids, benzodiazepines, and, in large animal practices, anabolic steroids.
Many years ago, the office I worked in encountered a young man who had a very small dog named Dolly. The man visited local veterinarians, telling them that Dolly had “a lot of anxiety.” He explained that Dolly’s past bouts with anxiety had always been solved with diazepam, which, of course, was the reason for his visit. Every month, the man took Dolly to 5 veterinarians, all of whom sent her home with tranquilizers. If she did suffer from an anxiety problem, it was never treated. My office got word of the fraud and arrested Dolly’s owner, but he promptly made bond and continued his scam with 5 additional veterinarians. The owner’s second arrest finally put a stop to his scheming. [Read more…]