New Report Confirms Veterans Still More Likely to Abuse Prescription Medicine

New Report Confirms Veterans Still More Likely to Abuse Prescription Medicine

09.17.12 | By Kaelan Hollon

I've seen it firsthand and the numbers aren't pretty - America's troops are vastly more likely to binge drink and abuse prescription medicine than ever before, according to today's Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. Mark Thompson at Time wrote a good blog post interpreting the IOM's numbers, and confirms that prescription drug abuse rates doubled between 2002-2005 from two to five percent, and reached 11% by 2008, a 450% increase.

There are some important options for support available, if you know of someone in the service at risk of misusing prescription medication. Veterans Affairs has ramped up their support for those at risk, and communities are responding, as well. We work closely with CADCA, who sponsors a program called VETCORPS, which provides community assistance to veterans and their families suffering from prescription drug abuse. It's run through the National Guard, and recruits inactive National Guard and Reserve members. In particular, VETCORPS is reaching out to National Guard and Reserve members, since those groups don't have access to the same support and counseling services available on an active-duty military base. Curious as to whether VETCORPS is active in your state? Check here for their updated state participation list.

What other resources do you know about specific to military members and families to address prescription drug abuse? Let me know.

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