November 02, 2018 09:15 AM
People addicted to prescription drugs have found a new place to feed their addiction: at animal hospitals.
Investigative Reporter Ryan Raiche dug into a topic that shows just how strong the grip of addiction can be.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS found some have become so desperate for painkillers, they are turning to an area that is largely unregulated: the vet clinics.
One recovering addict, Shannon Toomey, said she visited more than 10 clinics in Dakota County over and over again.
Sometimes, she said she would even change the names of her dogs so the vets would not become suspicious.
Investigators found Toomey obtained more than 5,000 pills of the human drug Tramadol. It was prescribed to her dogs, but handed to her with no questions asked.
When asked whether she was surprised at how easy it was to obtain prescriptions, Toomey said, "Yeah. I was. And I was grateful for that at the time. I was like, 'This is my little secret.' You know, as an addict I was like, 'This is a gold mine.'"
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS found that gold mine is wide open in Minnesota and state officials know it.
On 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at 10 p.m. Sunday, watch the investigation that reveals the gap in the system and the reason lawmakers are slow to fill it.