Let’s Not Forget Diversion Risks in the Veterinary World

A colleague shared that a good friend of theirs admitted they had a substance abuse problem and had been diverting from work. They are a veterinarian and it was a benzodiazepine product they were abusing. Thankfully, they reached out and asked for help.  I have also recently read about an employee of a veterinary office who was found guilty of diversion through forging prescriptions using a veterinarian’s DEA number. Then, a few days ago, a dog member of my family had surgery and returned home with an anti-inflammatory and a prescription for Tylenol #3. This once again reminded me that those in the veterinary world have access to controlled substances and have DEA numbers that allow them to write prescriptions, but I don’t hear much on their risk for substance abuse and diversion. They have trauma scores and they are no different than the pharmacist, nurse, or physician when it comes to substance abuse risks. They are human too, and face the same struggles. All vet offices need to be sure they have processes in place to watch for and mitigate diversion.

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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