Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Veteran Drug Deaths

October 23, 2012

With a disproportionately high number of returning Texas veterans dying from drug injuries and overdoses associated with prescription medications, the U.S. House Committee on Veteran Affairs is calling for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) tracking of veteran deaths.

The Austin American-Statesman found that while a large number of veterans are committing suicide upon arriving home from overseas, just as many recipients of veterans’ disability benefits die from drug injuries caused by overdoses of narcotic painkillers they receive from VA doctors. Many of those who died also were found to have had multiple drugs in their systems at the time of autopsy.

While the VA has been ordered to perform further studies on the mortality of returning soldiers, and have plans to do so at the end of the year, they face several challenges in collecting data that can be of true benefit. For instance, the VA depends on the National Death Index to obtain causes of death; however, there is a two-year-delay on the release of those documents. Also, death certificates only say whether the individual served in the military, and it includes active duty service members with veterans of all ages.

The Veterans Disability Benefits Lawyers with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough understand the difficulties veterans face upon returning from service and are here to help you by answering any questions you may have.