The VA's Opiate Overload

Number 26153
Subject Veterans
Source Center for Investigative Reporting
Year 2013
Publication Date Sept. 28, 2013
Summary Many veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are addicted to prescription painkillers. The Center for Investigative Reporting and Aaron Glantz investigated the extent of the problem and substantiated the government’s role in feeding veterans’ addictions to dangerous narcotic painkillers. In the summer of 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain, 12 years of prescription data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The CIR analysis exposed a startling 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions in Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals, a phenomenon that had contributed to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that was nearly double the national average. On Sept..28th, CIR reporter, Aaron Glantz’s investigation, The VA’s Opiate Overload, premiered on Reveal, a new radio program showcasing investigative reporting. The riveting documentary detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs became the drug dealer of choice for many veterans caught in the trap of prescription painkillers.
Category Contest Entry
Keywords veterans hospital; va; painkillers; drugs; addiction
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