Under current regulations, veterans had to seek these recommendations outside of the VA system and pay out of pocket for the related expenses.
Jeffrey Waggoner’s end and easy access to the narcotics that killed him have become tragically common, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.Many veterans have turned to weed as an alternative to painkillers and antidepressants. But, as the HuffPost writes, the Drug Enforcement Agency still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous category, saying that there is no accepted medical use.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the agency charged with helping veterans recover from war instead masks their pain with potent drugs, feeding addictions and contributing to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that is nearly double the national average.
Prescriptions for four opiates – hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine – have surged by 270 percent in the past 12 years, according to data CIR obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. CIR’s analysis for the first time exposes the full scope of that increase, which far outpaced the growth in VA patients and varied dramatically across the nation.
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