FDA: Pet owners could look to veterinarians for opioids

The FDA is warning about humans accessing opioids through their pets.

The agency says some pet owners could be stealing pain medications intended for their furry friends and, just like opioid medications used in humans, the drugs used for animals have potentially serious risks in humans who may divert them for their own use.

The FDA's statement follows a perspective paper in the American Journal of Public Health.

The paper included data from a small survey of 189 veterinarians in Colorado from 2016.

In it, 13 percent of the veterinarians were aware of an animal owner who had intentionally made an animal ill or injured, or seem to be ill or injured to obtain opioid medications.

The FDA has created a resource guide on what veterinarians need to know.

Including information on state and federal regulations, alternatives to opioids and how to properly safeguard and store opioids.

It also includes how to identify if a client or employee who may be abusing opioids and how to take action with a safety plan.

Veterinarians are also required to be licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe opioids to animal patients.