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Veterans Face Even Greater Addiction Peril

Care for Veterans with Painkiller Addictions - The Bergand Group

In our nation, painkiller addictions are a huge problem. The treatment and care for veterans is a huge problem. Together, they create something that is even more tragic and in need of assistance than ever.

Don’t Forget About the Veterans

There’s no question that the population at large is at risk from the lure of opioids, but the vets in the U.S. have proven to suffer just as much, if not more. “More than 50 percent of all veterans are affected by chronic pain, which is a much higher rate than in the general population.” As a result, more vets than civilians are also receiving the ‘aid’ of prescription pills and are developing intense painkiller addictions as a result. Back in 2014, it was reported that “1.7 million prescriptions” were given out to “443,000 vets.” Since then, the issue has only become larger.

As with the general population, health care providers said that they have been trying to cut back the number of prescriptions that are offered to these people. However, there is still a large number of those who are affected who need treatment for the addictions that they have developed on top of chronic pain and PTSD (among a handful of other issues that plague our veterans). Unfortunately, these addictions are often just the tip of the iceberg, with many entering into a “downward spiral that all too often leads to homeless, prison or suicide.”

This is not a fate that anyone deserves, least of all those who fight for our country. Because of that fighting, though, many return home with wounds and conditions that require medical attention. Chronic pain plagues so many vets and the fastest solutions is the presence of painkillers. Of course, that is how the addiction develops in the first place, but many aren’t willing to leave these men and women to suffer in great pain, either. There are no easy answers.

One doctor reports: “It’s a matter of individualizing and trying different alternatives, and that can be really frustrating for patients, as well as clinicians.” After all, there isn’t a simple ‘other solution’ rather than the use of opioids to ease the pain for these people. If there were, it wouldn’t be such a massive issue. Medical professionals can provide opportunities for managing pain that don’t involve opioids, but it’s up to the patients themselves to attend and work these efforts into their own lives.

Unfortunately, to complicate the situation even further, the Department of Veterans Affairs has so much on their plate in a general sense that it’s difficult for them to find the time to develop treatment plans for painkiller addictions on such a large scale. “Doctors are often pitted against their skeptical colleagues in trying to provide pain relief in a way that’s effective, but not dangerous to the patient.” On top of all of that, little funding is given to the VA to solve these problems and little attention is paid to the people who are suffering.

Something has to change so that we can offer these veterans the aid that they deserve. If you are struggling with an addiction of any kind or are looking for help for another person, vet or civilian, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about painkiller addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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