I arrogantly assumed that my lack of a criminal record and the small amount of clean time I had accumulated would exonerate me and I would leave with a slap on the wrist. I was sentenced to 12 months in jail, five years probation, more than $3,000 in restitution and 100 hours of community service.
Every year, at least 16,000 Americans die from overdosing on prescription pain drugs, more than from heroin and cocaine combined. Preventing these deaths should be a national priority, and two measures that could help to reduce these tragedies are an excellent way to start.
PTSD, domestic violence and alcohol abuse are problems that have been widely chronicled among returning veterans of our recent wars. Often left out of the discussion, however, is the terrible toll that prescription medications -- namely, opioid painkillers -- take on veterans' lives.
The relatively recent epidemic of opium-addiction is now America's fastest growing drug problem. While the consequences of this prescription-driven epidemic may be largely invisible to the general public, it is all too clear to doctors like myself.