03 Jan Veterans: A Target for Prescription Medication Theft
Alarming new research is exploring whether or not veterans may be becoming an increasing target for those who abuse prescription drugs and want more of the drugs in a hurry.
It’s no surprise to doctors, addiction specialists and researchers that abuse of prescription drugs is climbing. Ohio, for example, has experienced a 10 percent jump in people looking for help for addictions to opiate-based drugs since 2010, according to research from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.
As Ohio and other states look to fight even harder against prescription drug abuse, they’re uncovering a new reality: Drug addicts may be going after veterans to acquire more prescription medications. For many people with a prescription drug addiction, the supply they might acquire from one physician isn’t large enough to feed their addiction, as addressed in recent news posts.
Veterans may be a likely target because they’re an older population and may be able to acquire larger amounts of prescription painkillers due to federal assistance with insurance and prescription co-pays. They may also receive larger prescription levels from their doctors.
The medications are typically stolen from veterans through methods like using false prescriptions. Others acquire veterans’ prescription medications by working in the healthcare industry or by tampering with mail delivery of medications.
Experts speculate that the problem may intensify as veterans return from combat zones with injuries that may be long-term and require pain medications for treatment.
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