Troubling Trend of Painkiller Addiction in Veterans

Borderline Reckless Dispensation of Prescription Opioids

A widespread lack of pain management resources has many military veterans turning exclusively to narcotic painkillers to manage their conditions, according to a recent article. Testimony from retired and active military personnel reveals that the automatic dispensation of painkillers has essentially become the status quo in managing complex pain-related issues. In 2012 the VA issued 6.5 million prescriptions for opiate-based pain medication. Deaths related to prescription painkiller abuse are twice as high among veterans as they are among civilians. Prescription painkiller addiction has also been linked to homelessness, poverty and the worsening of existing mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Delays In Physician Treatment Partly to Blame 

The article points to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) which reveals practices in direct conflict with VA guidelines of patient care. It also suggests that the recently publicized lengthy patient wait-times for care at VA facilities may be culpable. Some patients have spent 3-4 months waiting to see a physician for a complex chronic-pain related condition. According to the piece, there is data to indicate that the clinics with the longest wait-times have produced the highest number of prescription painkiller addicts. The VA has taken multiple steps to curb painkiller addiction from the inside, but have had trouble keeping pace with the number of chronic pain patients seeking care. 

Contact the National Information Center for Pain Medication Addiction anytime toll-free at (855) 222-1980 or through our online form, and receive the answers, information or our recommendation for the help you or your loved one need to stop their pain medication addiction!

Get back the quality of life and level of dignity that is only possible when you or your loved one are no longer addicted to pain medication drugs . . . regardless of whether they were obtained legally or illegally.