A New Risk for US Troops - Prescription Drug Addiction

A New Risk for US Troops - Prescription Drug Addiction

Novus Medical Detox Center of Pasco County, Florida Director expressed support for recent efforts to curb the growing problem of prescription drug addiction in the US Military. “These young men and women put themselves in harm’s way to defend our country” the Director said. “They should not be exposed to addictive narcotics without adequate supervision and care to prevent a known and unfortunately common outcome – dependence and addiction. And when alternative methods of managing and treating can be effective, these should be used.”

“You don’t have to throw narcotics at people to start managing pain,” said Army Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, director of the Acute Pain Service Management Initiative at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Buckenmaier has pioneered alternative approaches to treat the pain of wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefield to help avoid the risks of abuse, dependence and prescription drug addiction.

Prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers among injured troops have jumped from 30,000 a month to 50,000 since the beginning of the Iraq war, a new survey has found, suggesting that military medical personnel are over-relying on narcotics rather than using alternative treatments to manage pain. Narcotic pain relievers, a leading cause of prescription drug addiction among the civilian population, carry the same risk among military personnel.

According to a report in the Military Times, six suicides and seven drug-related deaths among soldiers in Warrior Transition Units -- created for the Army’s most severely wounded or injured -- have led to new, aggressive efforts to better control prescription drug addiction. Col. Paul Cordts, chief of health policy for the Army surgeon general, said this will include limiting prescriptions to a seven-day supply and more closely monitoring drug use. Both the Army and Marine Corps are testing dispenser machines located in the barracks that emit drugs as needed, tracking to whom, and how much, is dispensed.

For those returning to civilian life with a prescription drug problem, medical drug detox is available. While many medical drug detox programs take place in a hospital, Novus Medical Detox Center specializes in handling drug dependencies in a private setting that is stress-free, comfortable and safe. The facility, set on 3.2 wooded acres 45 minutes north of Tampa, FL, offers private rooms, TV and high speed internet access. Detoxification programs at Novus provide detox services for people wishing to withdraw from drugs including opiate detox, heroin detox, psychotropic detox, alcohol detox, benzodiazepine detox and prescription drug detox. They can be reached at .

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