War veterans prone to drug addiction often prescribed risky painkillers

Friday, March 30, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: veterans, painkillers, drug addiction

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) As if some returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan didn't have enough problems already, many of them are now being prescribed risky painkillers that can have profoundly negative effects, especially for those with pre-existing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other physical ailments.

According to a recently released government study, vets who have been diagnosed with PTSD are being prescribed morphine and similar powerful painkillers two times more often than vets with only physical pain, when they are already at risk for alcohol and drug abuse.

Even more shocking, the study found, is that Iraq and Afghanistan vets who developed PTSD and already had pre-existing substance abuse issues were four times more likely to be prescribed addictive painkillers than those without mental health problems.

See the Health Ranger's new infographic on the psychiatric drugging of soldiers:

'Opioids sometimes make problems worse'

As a result suicides, other self-inflicted injuries and drug and alcohol overdoses, while still rare, were more prevalent in vets with PTSD who received painkilling drugs, said the study's authors.

Overall, relatively few veterans are prescribed drugs like hydrocordone and morphine, which work to dull severe pain. With that said, some physicians may still prescribe them to vets who have symptoms of mental anguish and suffering "with the hope that the emotional distress that accompanies chronic pain will also be reduced," Michael Von Korff, a chronic illness researcher with Group Health Research Institute in Seattle - who was not involved in the study - told the Associated Press.

"Unfortunately, this hope is often not fulfilled, and opioids can sometimes make emotional problems worse," he added.

The study involved 141,029 men and women, all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who had been diagnosed with non-cancerous physical pain between October 2005 and December 2010. Half of them were also diagnosed with mental health problems, including PTSD. The Department of Veterans Affairs paid for the study, the results of which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

VA: More needs to be done

Dr. Karen Seal, lead author of the study who is treating patients at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, said she has sometimes prescribed opiates to war veterans, but only if other painkillers have not been effective.

Commenting on the results of the study, the VA said while its pain management program has been called a model of care, "we recognize that more work needs to be done."

A separate study found that as many as 20 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD and other mental health issues.

"Among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, rates of psychological and neurological injuries are high and rising," said the study, conducted by the RAND Corporation for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a veteran's advocacy group, adding that "nearly 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans screen positive for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression."

"Although these statistics are troubling, we have yet to see the full extent of troops' psychological and neurological injuries. Servicemembers are still deploying on long and repeated combat tours, which increase the risk of blast injuries and combat stress. Rates of marital stress, substance abuse, and suicide are all increasing," the report said, adding that divorce rates among female Marines was nearly three times the national average, and that the Army suicide rate hit a 27-year high in 2008.

Primary care physicians prescribe the most

In the VA-sponsored study, researchers found that more than three-quarters of the opiate prescriptions given to vets - 77 percent - came from primary care physicians.

"This is not surprising," said Seal. "Patients in pain are far more likely to present to primary care than to go to mental health clinics for treatment of PTSD, and our ability to treat complex patients with pain and PTSD symptoms in primary care settings is currently somewhat limited."

She went onto say that when faced with such challenging patients who have high levels of distress, "primary care physicians do what they can to relieve pain and suffering. They may have concerns about prescribing opiates, but they want to relieve the pain and continue to maintain contact with their patient."

Sources for this article include:

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.