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Kasik
05-24-2014, 11:20
The following story is the tragic reality for thousands of Active Duty, NG, Reservists and Veterans of our decade + wars.

The only thing the story misses is how many Service Members, to include those coming from our community, are addicted while on Active Duty and being treated for illness, injury or wounds.

That number is enormous and is today considered a necessary evil (use of narcotics for pain relief), particularly in the event of serious injury or wounds (i.e. traumatic amputation / burn).

As these Service Members are boarded out, ETS or are otherwise discharged they take their addictions with them...into the VA...which then has to provide a wide spectrum of services to include MH/BH and detox...which are understaffed, under-resourced, un-approved (VA rarely contracts out to private sector for in-patient treatment programs despite not have at all the ability to provides residential programs itself).

https://news.vice.com/article/im-ptsd-paid-till-suicide-or-death

Brush Okie
05-24-2014, 11:52
This is something I have dealt with on many levels. As a medic, as a Corretional officer and with family members with addiction problem.

Ms. Okie used to work in an addiction clinic and long story short some people are pre disposed to addiction by genetics. They react differently to narcotics than non addictive people. Now here is the issue, many times these addicts have REAL pain problems where they need narcotics for pain control. The problem is they can not take just one or two pain pills, they take a handful. Like an alcoholic can not drink one beer and stop they can not either, but they NEED the pain meds for real problems so it is a tough position to be in as an addict and as a health care provider treating them. Where does the line of pain control end and getting high begin? There is no blood test for this and everyone had different tolerance of pain and medication levels.


I have asked inmates how they function on the opiates since it makes me feel like crap and I go to sleep. Several have told me opiates wake them up and energize them.

Great article, now that these vets have injuries sustained in combat with chronic pain coupled with addictive personality that the military gave them opiats they needed and are now hooked on. What do we do with these folks?

PRB
05-24-2014, 12:05
Not a new issue but one that is much bigger, presently, than ever in our military's past medical history.
So many of our recent wounded would have died on the battlefield just a decade ago. The survival rate for traumatic amputation is amazing.
I've often wondered what the KIA numbers would look like if we were medically in the RVN era.
The comments about the addictive gene/personality are spot on....what a way to get introduced to yourself.
Damned hard road.

SigmaAaron
07-02-2014, 15:14
I saw that episode of Vice. I am currently on PDRL thanks to some jackass with a sedan in the Ghan, on top of the TBI, I have a metal plate holding bone together. VA gives me hydrocodone but doesn't care when I ask for other meds to try, as I cannot function properly on them. I am forced to deal with pain during the day and take them at night.

I used the tricare for private Dr. and received Vikadin now i know what Dr. House went through. Stopped those and am only taking the hydro once and a while. I had a small addiction problem with the THC when I came back; grew up and stopped but it provided a certain pain relief and satisfaction in the night hours. Have heard of Marinol curious to look into it (need to take this to med thread). I know of several prior service SO and non alike that are on things a lot worse. I know the Alcohol didn't work.

P.S. For younger and FNG's (non QPs) reading this post always remember throughout your career "Quick to think, slow to anger".