Dangers of Polypharmacy
Preventing the deaths of Veterans, whether accidental overdoses or suicides, is a high priority for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The statistics are awful: in the United States, about 17 Veterans a day kill themselves. A committee has been formed to examining the dangers of Veterans taking medications for chronic pain along with medications for anxiety and sleep issues. The goal is fewer suicides and unintentional overdoses and deaths.
A committee of experts brought together by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) will assess all-cause mortality of Veterans in the US using prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines. A report is expected in 2 years. Committee chair, Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, commented, “Understanding the effects could help inform the use of opioid treatment as part of chronic pain management,” said Strom.
Read the press release.
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