Veterans returning from overseas deployments and abusing drugs is not a new story. Depending on the decade, the drugs being abused will change. Veterans of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be abusing prescription drugs more than other generations of combat veterans and more than most other commonly abused drugs.
Because of the dangerous trend the federal government sees developing, they have issued a grant to study the potentially volatile problem. The government gave the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) $288,714 for research into the issue.
UAMS researchers will join forces with the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System. Together, they will collect and study 6 years of data on veterans and prescription drug abuse, which will be supplied by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The research will focus on evaluating how effective current VA policies are when VA doctors and physicians prescribe opioids as painkillers to veterans in need. The VA will release new guidelines later this year detailing new procedures to be used when opioids are prescribed.
Every year tens of thousands of veterans are diagnosed with pain requiring prescription painkillers. More than half of those could very well demand a treatment including the use of opioids. In an effort to curb the abuse of prescription drugs, those prescriptions must be handed out responsibly.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.