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Posted inHealth Care for Veterans, Returning Home to Battle

House panel questions VA officials on veterans’ preventable deaths

Getty Images A freshman congresswoman broke into tears this morning after an Army veteran testified that he is dying of terminal cancer because doctors at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in South Carolina failed to perform a routine colonoscopy when he had blood in his stool. “I don’t know how they sleep at night. I […]

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Posted inHealth Care for Veterans, Opiates, Returning Home to Battle

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 […]

Posted inOpiates, Returning Home to Battle

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 […]

Posted inOpiates, Returning Home to Battle

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 […]

Posted inOpiates, Returning Home to Battle

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. […]

Posted inOpiates, Returning Home to Battle

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 […]