"The rate of narcotic prescription use among U.S. troops coming out of combat is more than three times the rate for civilians and more than 44% of service members complain of chronic pain lasting longer than three months," USA Today reports.
"The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Internal Medicine, provides a snapshot of how prevalent pain and narcotic use are among those who go to war."
"The research was based on a survey of soldiers in an Army brigade three months after returning from Afghanistan in 2011. More than 45% said they had been injured in combat. About 15% said they had used opioid pain relievers in the month prior to the survey, and the vast majority complained of continuing pain. About one in five said it was severe."