In states hit hard by the opioid epidemic, directly connecting child removals to a specific drug type is nearly impossible.
Federal investigators have confirmed that a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs killed Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski, a psychiatric patient at the Tomah, Wisconsin, veterans hospital known as “Candy Land” for its rampant use of opiates.
A congressional hearing today revealed more unexpected deaths at the Tomah, Wisconsin, VA – known as “Candy Land” for the ease with which narcotic painkillers were prescribed – during Dr. David Houlihan’s decade as the hospital’s chief of staff.
Nearly 100,000 veterans currently are receiving prescriptions for both tranquilizers and narcotic painkillers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a potentially deadly combination that is explicitly discouraged by agency guidelines.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin, notorious for its skyrocketing rate of opiate prescriptions, has contributed to dozens of tragedies that have affected people other than the veterans taking the drugs.
Meet the “Candy Man” – the chief of staff at a VA hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin. Hospital staff members say Dr. David Houlihan “hands out narcotics like they’re candy.”
On our debut pilot, reporter Aaron Glantz uncovered how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been prescribing highly addictive pain medications at an alarming rate. He returns to the show to discuss how lawmakers might address the spike in opiate prescriptions.