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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has supplied Tim Fazio with nearly 4,000 oxycodone pills since he returned home after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008. Fazio says he was never in acute physical pain but used the pills to blot out feelings of guilt for surviving when many of his friends did not.

Credit: Adithya Sambamurthy/CIR

Opiate prescriptions down at the VA, alternatives on the rise