doctor shopping; presciption; illegal; crime; vet; dog

Women doctor shops with vet to get prescribed medication meant for her dog

Woman Uses Pet to Help Score Drugs

Florida has a bad reputation in the United States, and, well, much of the world, when it comes to weird crime. It is not as though the reputation is not well deserved. However, it is not every day that a person goes doctor shopping while using their pet.

What Is Doctor Shopping?

For those who are not familiar with the term, doctor shopping means to visit many different physicians in an effort to obtain prescriptions for drugs that would be impossible to get otherwise. Those who are addicted to drugs will often utilize this method to make sure they have access to the drugs they believe they need. However, those who are selling drugs will often undergo the same practice to get the goods they need to sell.

Many times, doctors do not realize that people are trying to scam them when they first speak with them. Other times, though, there are doctors who will write out prescriptions without performing a medical exam or providing a diagnosis. These are often known as “writers”.

This type of shopping will generally happen with physicians who treat humans. You do not often hear about it with veterinarians. However, Florida can help us with this. In Pinellas Park, Florida, a woman named Malorie Ruiz, 29, was arrested for doctor shopping with her pet dog. How did she do this? Well, she took her dog to a veterinarian’s office and requested a prescription for alprazolam, which is a form of Xanax.

She approached the hospital called Park Animal Hospital and received the prescription. However, she called back before too long asking for a refill of the prescription. She then called again and said that she was going out of town and that she couldn’t find the key to the safe with the medication. Of course, this raised some red flags and the animal hospital contacted the authorities.

Since Ruiz was unable to get the drugs through that facility, she began to doctor shop elsewhere. She would continue to call new vets and always had excuses of why she needed to have another prescription refilled as soon as possible.

Another way that Florida makes this case so special, is that this particular dog owned by Ms. Ruiz was named Tony Montana. Of course, you likely know that Tony Montana was the main character in the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino about a drug dealer and addict in Florida.

Why Drugs for Animals?

You might be wondering why someone would try to take medication that is for animals. The truth is that many medications provided for animals are the exact same medications prescribed for humans. The dosages might be different, and the names might be slightly different, but their uses and effects are the same. Once an addict finds this out, they believe they can find an easy way to get the drugs they need. In fact, News Channel 8 in Florida said that Ruiz’s Facebook page mentioned that she had training in veterinary medicine. So, it was only a matter of time before her addictions led her down this path.