Zent works to prevent drug addicts, dealers from turning to veterinarians

Zent works to prevent drug addicts, dealers from turning to veterinarians

Posted by: Adam Kern  | Thursday, January 31, 2019

STATEHOUSE (Jan 31, 2019) –The House of Representatives today voted in support of State Rep. Denny Zent’s (R-Angola) bill preventing illegal drug users and dealers from turning to veterinarians for prescriptions.

According to Zent, growing research demonstrates that opioid prescriptions for pets have drastically increased over the past decade, raising fears that drug abusers are turning to veterinarians to acquire opioids, which includes highly addictive pain medication.

“Many will go to almost any length to acquire opioids to abuse or sell,” Zent said. “Tragically, some addicts are even willing to injure their pets to deceive veterinarians into providing them with pain medications.”

In fact, the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health found that 13 percent of the veterinarians surveyed were aware of one or more of their clients who had intentionally injured or made an animal sick in order to obtain drugs.

As part of Indiana’s ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic and drug abuse, Zent’s proposal would limit the initial opioid prescription for animals to seven days and would grant veterinarians access to Indiana’s opioid prescription tracking database so that they can monitor and prevent offenders from acquiring drugs.

“By limiting prescriptions for animals and giving veterinarians access to the opioid tracking database, we could effectively close the loophole allowing offenders to acquire opioids through their veterinarians,” Zent said.

House Bill 1295 now moves to the Senate for consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) represents House District 51,
which includes most of LaGrange and Steuben counties.