People deliberately harm pets to get prescriptions for opioids

AURORA, Colo. -- It’s an all-time low for people trying to get high. Some are deliberately and intentionally harming their pets in order to get a prescription for opioids.

According to a study by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, people addicted to opioids are injuring their own pets, or even dogs not belonging to them, to satiate their opioid obsession.

In response, CU Anschutz  has created an online course for veterinarians to detect such cases.

At Alameda East veterinarian hospital in Aurora, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald said this has been a problem for some time.

He also said veterinarians are playing catch-up. There are safeguards at his clinic already in place for such abuse.

Dr. Lee Newman from CU Anschutz and Fitzgerald both agree, the problem of procuring painkillers from pets is likely under reported, and only the tip of the iceberg.

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