L. Joy Ohnstad, is an Army and Air Force veteran. She is a graduate of University of Wyoming’s College of Business, and is currently completing a dual Doctorate of Pharmacy and a MBA at the University of Wyoming. She is also a Tillman Military Scholar and is implementing a program on the University of Wyoming campus to improve the academic success of women veterans.
According to a new report released by Human Rights Watch, more than one million veterans enrolled within the VA primary care system are taking prescription opioids for chronic pain. At the same time, an unprecedented number of veterans are dying as a result of both accidental and intentional drug overdoses. The report, which was released earlier this month, brings to light the growing concern that veterans of all ages are struggling with pain, which results in chronic use of prescription opioids. It argues that the VA “should remove barriers to ensure access to evidence-based drug dependency treatment and make overdose prevention programs available to veterans in the community.”