Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of opiate prescriptions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has skyrocketed. Data shows prescriptions for four opiates – hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine – have surged by 270 percent from 2001 to 2012. In some cases, the VA has prescribed drugs to known addicts.

Dig Deeper

Sam Ward is a senior digital producer for Reveal, where he oversees the web team. He has years of experience producing creative digital media projects for Oregon Public Broadcasting, PBS, ITVS and the Smithsonian, and he has managed projects for funders such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and Annenberg Media. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Ward is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.