If you don’t have any family or friends that have actually been to war, trust me when I tell you it changes a person. Many of the vets I personally know are heavy drinkers, smokers, and other things so it doesn’t surprise me that many are over medicating and/or committing suicide.
Studies show that veterans ages 18-24 enrolled in the VA’s health program killed themselves at a rate of 46 per 100,000 in 2009 and nearly 80 per 100,000 in 2011. Non-veterans of the same age had a suicide rate during 2009 and 2010 of about 20 per 100,000, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CBS News obtained VA data through a records request which show the number of prescriptions written by VA doctors and nurse practitioners during the past 11 years. The number of patients treated by VA is up 29 percent, but narcotics prescriptions are up 259 percent. A dozen VA physicians who’ve worked at 15 VA medical centers told us they’ve felt pressured by administrators to prescribe narcotics and that patients are not being properly monitored. — Veterans dying from overmedication: CBS News, 10 October 2013.