How The Va 's Policy Changes Regarding Opioid Treatment

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This paper will attempt to show how the VA’s policy changes regarding opioid treatment has resulted in an increase of ethical dilemmas regarding the care and treatment veterans and how veterans have been impacted. Even though the VA feels it is helping veterans with opioid dependence, the policy changes have had a negative impact on veterans’ interaction with the VA, because veterans can no longer receive opioids via mail and they now require a new, written prescription each month. Prior to 2014, veterans were prescribed opioids for pain: intermittent, surgical and chronic. There were standards and categories the veteran had to fall under to receive opioid treatment, but the regulations were not as stringent. Veterans could receive their opioid medication via the mail by just making a phone call to their primary care physician. These prescriptions could be refilled over the phone, without the veteran having to schedule an appointment to receive a written prescription. The veteran had scheduled appointments monthly, quarterly or bi-annually depending upon their level of disability and medical needs. In 2014 the laws changed regarding opioid treatment for the entire country, not just the VA. The new federal laws that make it harder to get opioid medications are taking an unexpected toll on thousands of veterans who depend on these prescription drugs to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as missing limbs and post-traumatic stress. The restrictions, adopted last summer by

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