Boynton Beach, FL – A Florida woman took creative steps in order to obtain controlled pain killers.
From September 2010 to September 2012, 41-year-old Suzanne Lee Kraus was an employee of the Floresta Animal Hospital in Boynton Beach. From July to November 2012, Kraus allegedly forged and filled bogus prescriptions in order to obtain painkillers, claiming they were for her dog Higgins.
However, the animal had been deceased for at least nine months, euthanized at the same clinic Kraus had worked in.
Kraus was arrested Monday following a fraud and theft investigation, which had been triggered when a pharmacist at a Walgreens contacted the veterinarian’s office to confirm an order with Dr. Jean Burns. Instead, it was discovered pages from an Rx pad had been stolen, and the prescriptions had been faked. Burns told authorities she recognized the handwriting as that of her former employee.
A search of the pharmacy database revealed eight similar prescriptions had been filled since July 2012. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies assert Kraus stole a prescription pad from work and began steadily making out orders for 240 hydrocodone and acetaminophen pills under the name “Higgins Canine Kraus,” representing the deceased pet. This was done in order to slake Kraus’ drug addiction, according to WPBF.
Kraus told authorities she needed the medication but couldn’t afford to acquire them through legitimate means due to a lack of health insurance. She was charged with petty theft, fraud, forgery, and illegally obtaining a controlled substance.
Hydrocodone and acetaminophen used in combination is intended to alleviate moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen is used to relieve pain and reduce fever. It does not become habit-forming when taken for a long time but may cause other unwanted effects when taken in large doses, including liver damage. Acetaminophen enhances the effects of hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone is one of several narcotic analgesics (pain medicines) which act on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain and can become habit-forming with prolonged use. The patient can develop both a physical and mental dependence on the controlled pain killer. This medicine is available only with a prescription.
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