War veterans with severe pain may need drugs like morphine and hydrocodone to manage it, but the medications are associated with higher rates of overdose and self-harm in those with post-traumatic stress.
By Maia Szalavitz
Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war are more than twice as likely to be prescribed opioid medications, such as morphine and hydrocodone, for their physical pain if they also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These soldiers are also more likely to overdose on drugs or alcohol, be involved in violence or self-harming behavior, including suicide, or have other accidents than veterans who do not use the pain relievers, according to a new study. » More