“Veterans Day provides an opportunity to recognize a hardship facing many American military personnel after they come home: struggles with opioid use disorder (OUD). About 68,000 veterans had the disorder in 2015, a threefold increase in 12 years. In addition, they are twice as likely as nonveterans to die from accidental opioid overdoses, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain are common diagnoses in this population, and both are associated with high rates of opioid prescribing. Between 2001 and 2009, opioid prescriptions written by military physicians quadrupled to close to 3.8 million, mirroring trends for the nation as whole. But the VA has taken steps in recent years to improve the safety of opioid prescribing and to increase treatment for those with OUD.”
Source: PewTrust.org – November 9, 2018