opioid

The Opioid Epidemic Hits Veterans the Hardest

Veterans have been disproportionately hurt by the opioid epidemic, which claimed 46,700 American lives in 2017. Earlier this year, a study found the rate of veterans dying from opioid overdoses increased by 65 percent from 2010 to 2016. Veterans are twice as likely to fatally overdose on opioids as the general population.

These tragic statistics are the result of a unique set of circumstances veterans face that make them more at risk of addiction and abuse. They are indicative of structural problems with the way we treat returning service members. They demonstrate the VA’s, and, in general, the American health care system’s, overreliance on highly addictive opioids to treat chronic pain.

The Combat Cocktail – How We Overmedicate Veterans

Veterans …

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Jon Stewart appears with NY senators and 9/11 first responders, to support renewing the Victims Compensation Fund.

9/11 First Responders Deserve More

If you haven’t yet seen Jon Stewart’s testimony in favor of renewing health benefits for 9/11 first responders, you should watch it here, now. 

In it, the former Daily Show host calls out the politicians who didn’t bother showing up to a Congressional hearing on renewing the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The Fund provides financial reimbursement for those injured during or suffering from medical defects because of the 9/11 attacks. The majority of those serviced by the Fund are first responders who performed fire and rescue that day.

Stewart appeared with several 9/11 first responders and their families, many of whom provided accompanying testimony. Among them was retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez, who contracted colorectal cancer from rescue …

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Police contemplating suicide: text BLUE to 741741

Police Suicide: A Call to Action

“Our collective silence only compounds the problem.” ~Chief Craig Steckler (Retired), Fremont PD

What is Happening?

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill made one of the most difficult statements of his career earlier this month, announcing the suicides of two veteran NYPD officers. Deputy Chief Steven J. Silks, 62, just weeks from his mandatory retirement, and Detective Joseph Calabrese 58, a high-ranking union official, died within twenty-four hours of one another. Commissioner O’Neill called police suicides a “mental health crisis” and urged despondent officers to seek help, before any more were lost to suicide.

Less than ten days later, O’Neill’s “crisis” diagnosis was vindicated, when an as-of-yet unnamed Staten Island officer, only 29, killed himself outside the precinct where …

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