Senate legislation looks for link between veteran suicides and prescription drugs

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, questions witnesses during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing addressing suicide prevention on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES)
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, questions witnesses during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing addressing suicide prevention on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES)

Senate legislation looks for link between veteran suicides and prescription drugs

by Nikki Wentling
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON – A measure introduced in the Senate on Thursday aims to create a better understanding of the connection between veteran suicides and prescription drugs.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, introduced the Veteran Overmedication Prevention Act of 2019, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct an independent, expert study on VA patients who died by suicide or from a drug overdose during the past five years. Baldwin said the intent is to determine whether there’s a direct correlation between veteran suicide and a potential overprescribing of medication.

“We lose too many veterans to suicide and drug overdoses,” Baldwin said. “And there’s certainly the strong potential for a linkage there that we want the VA to be fully aware of and research.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.610009

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