When it comes to painkillers, the United States consumes 80 percent of the world’s supply, according to American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. More Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among military veterans, the problem of painkiller abuse is especially striking. Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs published a study two years ago showing the fatal overdose rate among VA patients is nearly double the national average. And yet the department continues prescribing veterans increasing amounts of powerful painkillers, enabling their addictions and hindering their recovery from war.