He Survived The Iraq War, Then Lost An Ugly Battle Against Opioid Addiction

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By Lou Michel

Original Source: buffalonews.com

His death certificate listed heart disease complicated by diabetes as the cause of death. His wife believes he might still be alive if he hadn’t become addicted to opioids, an addictiong that started in the military. She blames Army doctors, veterans affairs physicians and a local pain specialist.

“When Don was at Walter Reed Medical Center, he told me they handed out the pain pills like Chiclets. He said he had become dependent on them,” Rosemarie Peterson said.

While much attention has been given to young people becoming addicted to opioids in recent years, little heed has been paid to the many military veterans showing up as addicts.

Between 2001 and 2009, military physicians wrote nearly 4 million prescriptions for painkillers to treat combat injuries and strains from the wear and tear of multiple deployments, according to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs often ends up treating these veterans when they leave active duty, and the numbers show…click here to continue reading

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