Canine Opioid Epidemic Linked to “Fireworks Anxiety” Pill Abuse
EVERY TOWN, USA – A new study has revealed that overprescription of “fireworks anxiety” medication is a primary factor in the nationwide canine opioid epidemic. The crisis, which has claimed the lives of thousands of otherwise good boys and good girls, is set to impact a record number of pups this year as 4th of July festivities wrap up.
The study, funded by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Purina, sheds light on the reasons why so many dogs have fallen victim to opioid addiction.
“The 4th of July acts as a sort of ‘gateway’ for dogs to become addicts,” explains Sheila Murphries, one of the study’s leading researchers. “The owners give their dogs an anxiety pill buried inside a spoonful of peanut butter to take the edge off of the fireworks and the next thing you know the dog is out on the streets rooting through dumpsters and chewing through old pill containers.”
“Most of the time the dogs, being very trusting animals, have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.”
The study also keyed in on the lax protocols and procedures practiced by the prescribing veterinarians. It was discovered that a majority of vets don’t even need to see the dog before doling out the anti-anxiety medication. The result is that the nation’s dogs, many of whom may not need the drugs in the first place, embark on a long journey of addiction, incarceration, and oftentimes death.
“From a dog’s point of view the 4th of July is like riding out an artillery bombardment in a WWI trench,” says Murphries. “The shellshock they experience is similar to the PTSD veterans experience after returning home from war.”
“And the treatment for our dogs and veterans is actually quite similar.”
The AVMA hopes that this new study will bring more attention and more funding to the growing dog opioid epidemic.
Worried that your dog might be suffering from an opioid addiction? Here are some warning signs and symptoms to look for: sleeping all day, mood swings, refusing to fetch, discovering a few bills missing from you wallet, noticing that your grandmother’s jewelry collections is dwindling, excessive scratching, glassy eyes, and leaving the house at late hours for clandestine meetups.