Some people will do anything to get high, including stealing and taking animal medications. Veterinary clinics have been broken into throughout recent years for their stocks of medications, by desperate people trying to get their hands on some drugs, any drugs. It sometimes doesn’t even matter to an addict what they are injecting or popping – as long as they think it might give them a high, they will try it.
In the last 15 years, vet clinics have had to tighten down their storage practices of controlled substances. Human drugs like Ketamine, Morphine, Buprenorphine, and Diazepam are commonly used also in animal medicine. Addicts have now started to break in and raid the drug cabinets, which, until recently, may not have even been locked up very securely.
Many of the veterinary controlled substances are exactly the same as the human ones, but there are sometimes differences, which at times can be deadly. The strength is likely to be different – for example, a veterinarian treating a horse or a cow will have stronger meds than human doctors. If a person is searching for drugs to get high on, they aren’t necessarily thinking of their own safety. They are not going to sit and figure out the dosage needed for their body weight. In fact, more is usually better in the mind of someone coming off a high. Mixing drugs can also be common, as well as injecting something they aren’t even familiar with.
Burglaries in the last few weeks have been particularly disturbing and dangerous. Thieves in Calgary last week stole, among other controlled substances, some vials of Euthasol, the drug used to euthanize animals. If someone mistakenly got a hold of it and decided to inject it, it would be immediately fatal. Other medications designed specifically for animals can be just as harmful.
Humans also sometimes abuse animal prescription medications. More and more animals are being maintained on things like Valium and Phenobarbital pills to manage pain or seizures, or as a sedative. Just as addicts go from doctor to doctor, requesting more pills, so some people take their pet from vet to vet. Since the animal can’t communicate how much pain they are or are not in, it can become very difficult to prove that a person is just on a pill hunt for themselves.
It is unfortunate that drug addiction has gotten so bad that not even animal medicine is safe from drug abusers or dealers. Many vet clinics have developed stricter ways of recording their controlled substance usage and storage. Many vets have also begun to look more closely at pets that are on prescription pain pills, because the danger of these getting in the wrong hands is real.
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.