News feature ignores root of problem of pet owners going to veterinarians to feed their own addiction

by Glen Wallace

There should be a way for addicts to legally get as much opioid prescriptions as they want along with instruction without having to go to a vet or worse, buy on black market which is worse because the opioid may be contaminated with fentanyl. Addiction is a medical condition so why is it treated as a crime?

It is only because the medical condition of addiction is primarily dealt with by the criminal justice system that addicts go to these great lengths to deal with their medical disorder.  Drug addiction is a very complex medical condition, so why is law enforcement, whose training is primarily in areas other than medicine, tasked with dealing with it?  

At least when the addicts get their opioids through a veterinarian, the addicts have some assurance that it is not going to be contaminated with fentanyl.  

But a much better route would be to simply prescribe addicts as much opioids as they request while simultaneously offering counseling, treatment and instructions on the safest use of the opioids.  For instance, instruction could be given for the addict to use less of the opioid if they relapse after being off the drug for a long length of time and therefore would have a lower tolerance to the opioid.  And of course, what the addicts are receiving from prescriptions shouldn't be contaminated with fentanyl.  

But if the gap in the system as it is described in the video is closed, while I think it is horrible that some pet owners are injuring their pets to get the prescriptions, it would also be horrible if the addicts were then to turn to the black market and take chances on potentially fentanyl contaminated opioids.  And it is only because they can't get as much opiods through their human medical provider as they want that these addicts are turning to veterinarians to satisfy their addition.  No pets would have had to face being injured by their owners if the addicts were able to get as much opioids as they want through normal healthcare channels. 

What should be clear by now is that the war on drugs in particular and the criminalization of some narcotic substances in general has been a complete abject failure and I wish this news feature would have acknowledged that but unfortunately the question of narcotic criminalization and its failure wasn't even touched on in the feature.

Embedded below is the TV news feature by KSTP 5 I am referring to in the above essay: