Our troops are returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and many of them are experiencing PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). This is an awful mental health condition that can be extremely difficult to overcome. According to a new study, many of these veterans are also being prescribed opioid painkillers to help them cope with their PTSD. This type of painkiller can be very harmful and addictive giving our veterans even more to cope with.
What is happening, unfortunately, is that if a veteran is diagnosed with any sort of mental illness, like PTSD or anxiety disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, or even depression, their doctors are more than likely going to put them on to oxycodone or hydrocodone, which are extremely powerful opioid painkillers. There has been a tremendous increase in the usage of these painkillers to treat any pain suffered by our veterans. The pharmaceutical companies, or Big Pharma as they are known, are no doubt ecstatic about this as if serves to line their pockets. But, my concern is what the long term effect is going to be on these patients?
With an increase in the prescriptions for these opioid drugs comes the chance of misuse or abuse. We’ve just recently, very sadly, lost a national treasure in Whitney Houston, most likely from the abuse of drugs such as these. It seems to be a plague among celebrities as they have easy access to these drugs because of their fame. Opioid drugs are the most common drugs found whenever someone dies of a drug overdose or negative interaction of these drugs with alcohol. These deaths are mostly unintentional which is why more attention needs to be paid to the prescription of these drugs in all cases.
Watch this video where Dr. Peter Selby, Clinical Director of CAMH’s Addictions Program, talks about opioids use and dependence.
Dr. Peter Selby, Clinical Director of CAMH’s Addictions Program, talks about opioids use and dependence.
I don’t think the dangers of these drugs are explained thoroughly enough to PTSD victims or any patient for that matter who is being given these drugs.
I hope that anyone who is suffering with PTSD, or has a loved one who is, will do their own research and learn all they can about these drugs before they become addicted and suffer the worst consequence of accidentally overdosing and losing their life as a result.