Monday, February 23, 2015

Baldwin Sat on Report Others Pretended They Didn't Know Years Ago

"Sen. Baldwin had Tomah VA report for months" was the headline on the use of opiates as if it was anything new. None of this is new but it seems as if some bloggers have just discovered this issue. The story was linked on a report Town had up Sunday but as you can see, it is far from new and it appears that there have been many politicians just sitting on what they knew, since nothing was done about any of it.
"In September, the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that VA prescriptions for four opiates - hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine - surged 270 percent from 2001 to 2012. That far outpaced the increase in the number of VA patients and contributed to a fatal overdose rate that the agency's researchers put at nearly double the national average."

That was reported in 2013 by Aaron Glantz, Center for Investigative Reporting. The kicker was that also in the same report was the stunning admission of doctors writing prescriptions for these drugs without seeing the patient. Glantz followed that report up with another testimony told this part of what was going on.
"There are multiple instances when I have been coerced or even ordered to write for Schedule II narcotics when it was against my medical judgment," said Dr. Pamela Gray, a physician who formerly worked at the VA hospital in Hampton, Va. Primary care doctors who don't want to prescribe large amounts of opiates may resign, do as they are told or be terminated, Gray said. Gray was fired.
Dr. Robert Jesse gave testimony to the House Veterans Affairs Committee
Hearing on 10/10/2013: Between Peril and Promise: Facing the Dangers of VA’s Skyrocketing Use of Prescription Painkillers to Treat Veterans
"We also know that the long-term use of opioids is associated with significant risks, particularly in vulnerable individuals, such as Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and family stress – all common in Veterans returning from the battlefield, and in Veterans with addiction disorders. Chronic pain in Veterans is often accompanied by co-morbid mental health conditions (up to 50 percent in some cohorts) caused by the psychological trauma of war, as well as neurological disorders, such as TBI caused by blast and concussion injuries. In fact, one study documented that more that 40 percent of Veterans admitted to a polytrauma unit in VHA suffered all three conditions together – chronic pain, PTSD, and post-concussive syndrome."

But as bad as all this is, the reports of troops being medicated while still in the military have been going on longer.

Investigation needed Ambien and military use

Links to medications suspected with non-combat deaths

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