Blog, Resource, & Helpline for those battling Percocet addiction

As Painkiller Prescriptions for Veterans Soar, Addiction Treatment Is Put In Place

In recent years, it seems that obtaining a painkiller prescription has become as easy as showing up at the doctor’s office and claiming to be in pain. With 5 to 10 minute visits to the doctor, a patient might receive a new prescription “to see if this one works.” Such has been the case of many veterans who have looked for treatment in the medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Take Providence, Rhode Island for example. According to information recently released by the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, painkiller prescriptions to veterans has increased from less than five in 2001 to over twenty-three hundred in 2013, with 2014 following a similar pattern. And the example of the Providence center is just a reflection of what is happening all around the country as prescriptions increase out of proportion of the number of veterans.

These numbers have raised alarm since easily-handed prescriptions can be quickly followed by painkiller addiction. Many veterans who, after returning from service, were treated solely through medication and rarely with counseling and support for different negative physical and psychological conditions have abused drugs or are currently addicted to narcotics.

But addiction in veterans has been addressed with a different approach since the creation of the first Veteran Treatment Court in 2008, with now almost two-hundred courts all around the country. Over ten thousand veterans are currently under trial in one of these courts, with the benefit of avoiding incarceration by accepting addiction treatment instead. All of these veterans with charges related to substance abuse are receiving a new opportunity for recovery that was not so available before.

Painkiller rehab for veterans can either be on an outpatient or inpatient setting. Participating in 12-step programs or a similar support group is usually part of the ruling with variations in length and type according to the specific needs of the veteran.

One of the main concerns related to this increase of painkiller prescriptions for veterans is that this could possibly be avoided by establishing some sort of after-service program designed to help veterans to adapt to everyday life and transition out of the military. For many, such an approach could identify underlying causes of addiction and even prevent further cases of substance abuse and suicides.

The bottom line is that, while actions are being taken to treat those with addiction problems, more can be done to prevent the development of new addicts and regulate the way people receive narcotics from their doctors as their only option of treatment. Health professionals say that people need to be better educated by their physicians to rely less on painkillers and learn to manage pain with healthier alternatives.

Call us today if you need to learn more about addiction treatment and the available programs for you. You can also inquire about the first step to make if someone close to you is suffering from substance abuse. Our toll free helpline is available 24 hours a day and our services are free of charge. Call now and we’ll help you choose from a national network of rehab facilities with a range of specialties to meet your needs.