The opioid epidemic has continued to plague the U.S. as new threats such as fentanyl spread across the country, placing the nation’s veterans on the front lines of a new kind of war.
“I’ve seen many post-9/11 veterans become addicts due to mental health,” Chelsea Simoni, a clinical nurse researcher and the founder of the Hunterseven Foundation, told Fox News Digital. “I’ve coded many young post-9/11 veterans in the ERs for opiate overdoses. I’ve seen mental health crises from addiction.”
Substance abuse among active duty military and veterans has been an issue policymakers have attempted to tackle for years, with service members being one of the country’s most vulnerable populations – in large part because of the stresses to their mental health in military service. According to a Department of Veterans Affairs estimate, roughly 20% of veterans being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder also struggle with drug or alcohol abuse.
Members of the military are also more likely to suffer physical injuries as part of their duties, a reality that often leads to troops being prescribed highly addictive painkillers.
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