Government data obtained by the Associated Press shows a sharp increase since 2009 in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by employees of medical centers run by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. 

Many VA hospitals have also failed to fully track their drug supplies. 

It is not clear if the problem is worse at VA hospitals than private facilities, but drug theft everywhere has increased during a national uptick in opioid addiction. 

Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at VA Medical centers as a result of the information found in this data.