VA Report Shows Opioid Treatment Program Failing Veterans

Office of Inspector General report exposes general oversights in the VA healthcare system.

The Office of Inspector General within the Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that healthcare providers at the VA have frequently overlooked or neglected to check prior opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnoses when developing treatment plans for veterans leaving the service.

The report shows that these oversights present a significant risk to the health and lives of veterans. Intersecting factors such as homelessness, alienation, and post-traumatic stress disorder make former service members vulnerable to opioid dependence and its severe consequences.

The inspector general report showed that “VHA [Veterans Health Administration] providers offered substance-use-disorder treatment or medication-assisted treatment to 80 percent of patients with an identified DoD OUD diagnosis in Patient Group 2 who died from an opioid-related overdose.” The report stated that “lack of provider knowledge of an established OUD diagnosis may have contributed to naloxone not being provided to some patients.”

The VA expressed its commitment to enhancing information systems, expanding access to opioid education and naloxone distribution programs, and providing evidence-based medications for opioid use disorder.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Under Secretary Shereef Elnahal as he heads the Veterans Health Administration.
  • For Secretary Denis McDonough as he leads the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • For military veterans and their families to seek help as they deal with addiction to opioids.

Sources: Reuters


Back to top