The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has come out in support of a bill pending on Capitol Hill that would tweak the existing law that targets the epidemic of opioid abuse. Sponsored by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., S. 1960 would address idiosyncrasies of the existing law that had the effect of potentially keeping pain-relief medications away from veterans who need it.
“Make no mistake, prescription drug abuse is a grave concern within the veterans’ community,” VVA president John Rowan said. “However, we cannot allow for the abuse dynamic to restrict veteran’s access to the highest quality medications and treatments needed to relieve their pain.”
Many Vietnam veterans suffer from pain triggered by head trauma, spinal cord injury, amputation, exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange, and other factors, Rowan said. Thwarting the opioid epidemic and ensuring that these veterans continue to have access to medications they need would require a “multifaceted approach,” involving all parties with a stake in resolving the problem, Rowan said.
S. 1960 is now pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.