In 2013,207 million prescriptions were written for patients of this 22 million were written by the Veterans Health Administration. The CDC has now made restrictions on how the doctors write these prescriptions. Instead of them writing a prescription lasting for a week or more, the CDC suggest it is only written to last for three to five days. The less time a patient takes a medication the less likely they will become addicted.
In Kentucky, doctors now have to go through a federal database before they can prescribe any pain medications or muscle relaxers. This database will show what medications the patient has received, by which doctor and also the amount. By using this database this reduces the amounts of opioids sold and the number of overdoses has dropped, hydrocodone (Vicodin) prescribing dropped 13 percent, oxycodone (Percocet) dropped 12 percent, oxymorphone (Opana) dropped 36 percent and tramadol (Ultram) dropped 12 percent.
As of 2015, more than half a million of veterans are on prescription opioids written by the Veterans Health Administration. Even the Pain experts say it's overmedicating these veterans, studies have shown that the use of painkillers lead to family anger, suicide, and homelessness.
Craig Schroeder, who was injured in 2006 while serving with the Marines in Iraq, suffers from traumatic brain injury and pain, for which he has been on a steady regimen of opioids. (Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post)