When Prescription Abuse Among Veterans Accelerates Into Heroin Addiction


Longreads

Colby’s death is one of at least five fatal overdoses with direct links to the Tomah VA while Houlihan was in charge. Some, like Colby, overdosed primarily on prescription medications. That was true for Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old former Marine who died in the Tomah VA’s psychiatric ward in August after Houlihan suggested the opiate Suboxone be added to a prescribed mixture of 14 medications.

Others happened when prescription abuse accelerated into heroin addiction. This progression, seen around the country, contributes to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that the agency’s researchers have pegged attwice the national average.

“The effects produced by oxycodone and hydrocodone are indistinguishable from the effects produced by heroin,” said psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer of Phoenix House, which runs more than 100 drug treatment clinics nationwide. “If we don’t see that the many veterans who became addicted are provided with…

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Author: Jake Mitchell

Writing nonfictional & brutally honest experiences, stories, & events, from my life; both before, during, and following my intense destruction of myself and the people who were around me. All because I lived a life of lies, manipulation, and self-imprisonment, just a few of the many truths when you're an Active Addict. Although I'm very blunt, I tend to (or at least try to) write as humble, selfless, & full of gratitude, while sharing some of the tragedies and situations which most likely occured due to my addiction and the way I exsisted during that time of my life, as I only cared about and fiened for my next high or score. Please comment on any material I post. Although I'm quite ashamed and embarrassed for most of the actions, decisions, and outcomes, that happened during my torturous years of Active Addiction, I don't regret any of it. Now, by writing about these true stories and events, I'm hopeful another addict can relate to my pain, distress, and the Hell of using drugs. This HELL, becomes therapeutic and important for my recovery, reminding me that I am not the o my person who has ever done or thought these things. And through relating, I may be able to help another addict.

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