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Opiates

Prescriptions of four potent opiates to veterans more than tripled in the decade after 9/11, contributing to drug abuse, addiction and suicide. The VA is trying to combat the problem, with uneven results.
Health Care

Action on the VA’s pain pill habit

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.

Health Care

Ex-VA doctor says she was forced out after limiting opiate prescriptions

Dr. Basimah Khulusi says she was forced out of her job as a rehabilitation specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Kansas City, Mo., after patients complained that she would not prescribe high doses of opiates. She says many of her patients had been addicted to opiates for years yet received escalating doses

Feb 25, 2014
Opiates

VA’s lack of pain treatment options led to opiate addiction, veteran says

Justin Minyard, an Army infantryman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, says he became addicted to opiates prescribed by VA doctors to mute chronic back pain that began after he helped in the 9/11 rescue effort at the Pentagon. “There were better options to treat my pain, and those weren’t presented to me first,” he

Feb 25, 2014
Opiates

In SF, VA doctors renewed opiate prescriptions without seeing patients

Getty Images Doctors at the San Francisco VA Medical Center regularly renewed prescriptions for highly addictive narcotic painkillers for veterans they had never seen, according to a new report by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general. The report also documented seven cases of opiate overdose among patients at the facility and determined doctors “did

Dec 2, 2013
Opiates

Video: Drugging America’s Veterans

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.

Oct 11, 2013
Opiates

VA doctors tell House lawmakers of pressure to prescribe veterans opiates

Heather McDonald speaks about her husband’s death at a House subcommittee hearing. Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Scott Alan McDonald died of an overdose of Percocet on Sept. 13, 2012.Amanda Voisard/The Center for Investigative Reporting Department of Veterans Affairs physicians told a House subcommittee today that hospital administrators regularly pressured them to prescribe highly addictive

Oct 10, 2013
Health Care

The VA’s pain pill habit

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of opiate prescriptions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has skyrocketed. In some cases, the VA has prescribed drugs to known addicts.

Sep 28, 2013
Opiates

Pilot 1: The VA’s deadly pain pill habit

An exclusive story about the volume and impact stemming from the VA’s overprescription of opiates to addicted veterans; the attorney behind many of the worst for-profit charities; bodycams for cops; and how one reporter helped one man prove his brother had been abused at a state mental facility.

Sep 28, 2013
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