RedRiverTV: Did The VA Hook Veterans On Opioids?
In our latest episode, we look at opioid addiction in the military. This is yet another issue where the government creates a problem and is slow to respond. The WSJ story, accompanying this story, tells of the horrific details behind Fayetteville area VA medical care, which is wholly inadequate. In the story, WSJ talks about a young veteran who is dealing with an opioid addiction.
"Robert Deatherage, a 30-year-old Army veteran who has battled addiction to pain pills and heroin since suffering severe injuries in Afghanistan, says he reached rock bottom a year ago when he holed up in an empty church and tried to kill himself. Twice.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]“I was just so sick of being as sick as I was,” he says. He put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, but it didn’t fire. He says he then used two syringes to shoot all the drugs he had but didn’t overdose.
Mr. Deatherage took the failure as a spiritual sign and walked to the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The facility didn’t have any space and turned him away, offering only a jacket from the lost and found and a phone number for a homeless veterans coordinator. After he picked up his disability check a few days later, he checked into a hotel where he knew other addicts, including veterans.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]“It gets discouraging,” Mr. Deatherage says. “It makes it easier to just say, ‘F--- it, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.’ ”
The man featured in the article became addicted due to "over prescription" of meds while in the military. After new rules made it difficult for veterans to receive the drugs many of them turned to a harder drug like heroin. Now, I know most conservatives would look at a story like this and talk about the individual responsibility of these men. I can understand that. As a veteran myself, I can remember being given bottles of these powerful drugs at nearly every turn at one point. Everyone I knew going in for minor pain or other issues were given these narcotics. I grew up around a lot of drug addiction, so I understood the ramifications of these drugs. Because of that knowledge, I never took a single pill.
On the other hand, young soldiers who grew up in rural and suburban areas who were sheltered from the effects of these kinds of addictions, took these drug. Drugs were prescribed by medical professionals, who a lot of times, outranked these young men, so I'd imagine they didn't understand the inherent danger. This isn't to let anyone off the hook for their actions, but it's just a reasonable explanation.
We also looked into natural drugs their using to combat this addiction. Drugs like Kratom and Ibogaine have shown some mixed results overseas. The federal government has stymied further serious research. The feds even attempted to ban the drugs in the name of "keeping us safe" as always. Feel free to do your research on these plants and come to your conclusion. I don't know if these drugs are safe, but I do know these people should have the right to CHOOSE these drugs. It is the individual who should have the right to say whether or not they try an experimental drug or not.
Once again, we have government creating a problem, then reacting to the problem slowly, and yet, they go to war against all of the early solutions.