Acting VA Secretary Visits Opioid Memorial

Acting secretary Robert Wilkie took time out of his schedule to visit the Opioid Memorial and address the veteran community about VA's program to more responsibly treat veterans needing pain care.

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Last week, VA acting secretary Robert Wilkie took time to visit the National Safety Counsel opioid memorial called “Prescribed to Death” and created a video to address veterans and America about the crisis.

This is one of the first public acts Wilkie has done and addressing opioids head-on seems like a good first step given how complicit the Department of Veterans Affairs was in contributing to the epidemic until 2015.

Wilkie took over the agency at the end of last money after former Secretary Shulkin was fired. In addition to his role at VA, Wilkie is also the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

He is the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Total Force Management as it relates to readiness; National Guard and Reserve component affairs; health affairs; training; and personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and the quality of life for military families.

Needless to say, Wilkie is a busy guy.

RELATED: VA Has An $8 Million Sexual Harassment Problem

Wilkie Statement On Opioid Memorial

From VAntage Point blog:

I’m Robert Wilkie. I’m visiting the National Safety Council’s “Prescribed to Death” opioid memorial. The memorial is currently located here at the White House. It’s part of President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.

Inside, 22,000 faces are engraved on small, white pills. Each symbolizes the tragic story of an American lost to prescription opioid overdose.

Some are Veterans…Veterans who defended this nation with courage and honor.

Many Veterans have survived serious battlefield wounds. And some endure pain for months, for years, and even for the rest of their lives. In fact, nearly 60 percent who served in the Middle East, and more than 50 percent of older Veterans, live with some form of chronic pain. And we have to provide them – and all Americans – safe, effective pain management that lets them live fulfilling lives.

For more than a decade now, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been doing just that.

  • In just the last four years, we’ve reduced opioid use by over 41 percent among Veterans we serve.
  • We’ve established evidence-based, collaborative approaches – ways to manage pain more safely and effectively, while minimizing reliance on opioids.
  • We’re improving the effectiveness of our pain management teams and expanding treatment options at every facility.
  • We’re coordinating with community care providers to ensure prescriptions are managed as safely as possible.
  • We’ve issued the lifesaving drug Naloxone to over 100,000 Veterans to help prevent tragedies.
  • Our Opioid Therapy Risk Report provides detailed information on risk factors and helps clinicians design effective pain management treatment plans.
  • And we’re bringing the power of big-data analytics to bear, as well.

VA’s Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Mitigation – STORM, for short – puts predictive analytics in the hands of providers. STORM estimates overdose or suicide risk among Veterans using or considering opioid therapy. And it offers risk-reduction interventions and non-opioid options. VA clinicians are giving extra attention to Veterans at risk of tragic outcomes.

Treating pain is complex. But as President Trump said, “We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”

He’s right. And VA’s helping lead the way.

Thank you, and God bless our Veterans and service members.

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34 Comments

  1. Failed to mention that little tidbit about how the VA states they use “evidence based approaches”, but ignores ALL safety and established medical tapering of said pain meds and just RIP THEM from out, cold turkey or very close to it without any proper titration and OFTEN it’sthe VA, without ANY NOTICE, simply discontinuing said pain meds and refuse fail to notify, and cease mailing said meds…leaving a Vet in withdrawals and often going right to the streets to alleviate pain…or my favorite, also omitted; when the VA says they mailed said controlled meds and they are “lost in the mail” way too often, then when Veteran makes formal complaint and claim about lost “controlled meds”, that Vet is then labeled by the VA as “drug-seeking or selling drugs”, then to come to find out across various VISN’s, VA employees have been caught in schemes to STEAL controlled meds from Vets and aforementioned “lost in mail” schemes?!!!!

    Sorry so beefy of a ^^paragraph^^ this morning, and all well and great “good intentions new acting VA Sec…”, but isn’t this just the emperor with new stripes touting VA world class healthcare again in a plausible deniability kind of way?

    One glimmer of hope with his background, perhaps he can help coax the VA and DoD in a dark alley to come meet each other, touch noses, sniff each other’s ass, be friends, and freely communicate data now after blowing smoke up the VA’s own ass of painful management of nonhuman test subjects??!!

    Forgive my decayed optimism, now where’s my personal hyperbolic chamber & cat w/vaporizor?

    😀 😀

    • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

      Nam, I agree about the tapering, the VA, is the entity that developed the damn tapering schedules. For them to not use them, and to just rip the script, away from a patient is criminal, and should be met with a massive backlog of law suits. From minor withdrawals, if your on a low dose of opiates , to life threatening withdrawals, depending on the dose. It is unconscionable for any government agency to engage in that type of behavior that could end a persons life. I mean if your going to kill the Veteran then give him an overdose of the morphine, it is less cruel than dying a slow horrific death by withdrawal.

      What the actual fuck VA?
      Fuck the VA, and as always Fuck the AFGE/SES/SEIU/DOD/DOJ/VAOIG, and of course……FUCK ANY ASSWIPE DR, WHO WOULD HARM A VETERANS BY RIPING A SCRIPT. There is a special place in HELL for you………

      • I have a lot of trouble with a system, that tells me the only option i have is to be basically brainwashed.

      • Nam, cj, true on those matters.

        IMHO Trump and Pence are both ass-wipe scum-bag, two-faced lying pigs. Along with all those other clowns called ‘representatives,’ advocates, VSOs, and media we are supposed to be able to turn to for help. Very bottom to the very top does not matter. Not to forget they are a pack of warmongering Satan worshiping sons-a-bitches and purely evil bastards/hos.

        Not going to get much gardening or yard work done this year minus the pain meds. Quality of life hit bottom. While other vets here reporting no change at all with their pain meds while other groups of us were all treated differently, demanded to sign special contracts others never heard of. So what is up with that? Especially if some of us have never tested dirty or been flagged as bad patients and such. Do those getting their pain meds or seeing what some of us others have gone through want to get involved to see what the hell is going on? Nope. Total silence and not wanting to get involved.

        I bought up some sign material to protest all this shit and for being chased off from the local hospital after them sharing med file info and my private number for a multitude of activist to use for threats and harassment. Just like the VA did. The shit went all over the place from health care shit-heads, utility companies, media, etc. With Pence knowing full well how corrupt Indiana is and has been for generations.

        Went to various meetings trying to find a videographer to tape my protest/signs and upload it to the net and FB. Or to find a local reporter with some balls/ovaries. Not happening. No one wants involved or will do the taping for me. Professionals or others around here. Said it would be the end of their news station jobs to causing them problems as students on local campuses, etc. Think this town and state ain’t freaking corrupt to the core??? Of course with some idiots thinking the VA is so great they wouldn’t harm vets like that or threaten us. I referred them to Ben’s site.

        One photographer I spoke to was going to the same pain clinic I tried and left due to sitting in a waiting room for four to six hours. He and others seem to think that is okay and ethical and if that is what it takes to get their pills they will. Sorry, but I can’t tolerate that shit and can not sit or stand that long. Or be away from other necessities to play games in public like that. I can’t see anyone in that much pain and with multiple pain issues being able to do that weekly or monthly for some pain relief when those actions or expectations just create more problems and more pain, or leads to being made bed-fast for days or weeks. Non-sense.

        It’s nothing more than control and collective punishments. While many are claiming winning over the drug war with grants, new VA clinics, waste of time and money on treatments that do not work, more games/testing, and more foreign workers put into professional positions that don’t give a shit about vets or Americans, etc. So my “doctor shopping” has to continue on next week…. which could be said as being “criminal” simply for not being able to find a MD but forced to play the game and do more file sharing and paper signing for nothing… as it all goes on permanent records for the LEOs and government to over-see and document.

        The friggin video just shows more propaganda, pure waste of time and waste of more money for the circus maximus.

        “Robert Wilkie took time out of his schedule to visit the Opioid Memorial and address the veteran community about VA’s program to more responsibly treat veterans needing pain care.” HORSE SHIT.

      • cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

        Peter Kreutzfeldt :
        AFGE: American Federation of Government Employees
        SES: Senior Executive Service
        SEIU: Service Employees International Union
        DOD: Department of Defence
        DOJ: Department of Justice
        VAOIG: Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General

  2. Fun Facts: Word origin & history for hyperbolic- adj., 1640’s (iperbolical is from early 15c.), from Greek hyperbolikos “extravagant”, from hyperbole “extravagance”, literally “a throwing beyond” (see hyperbole). Mathematically, hyperbola, and used in a sentence; “The VA has an extravagant case of hyperbola and more $$$ is required for research on if it’s as contagious as Ebola”.

    • Namnibor, Because I remembered we’re both interested in frequency’s I watched this 3min video, thought you might find it of interest too: Remote Mind Control: Documents Accidentally Leaked by Washington State Fusion Center “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq2AufJ5Aw8”

      • Also look-up subject of “Remote Viewing”…the USA has studied it but Russia went hell’s bells with it and continues to this day. Timothy Leary is laughing hysterically now in another dimension… 😀

  3. makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. So he takes it away but does not replace it with an alternative. I took myself of the pain meds cause I found an alternative only to have the CHOICE fuckups screw that up with the help of some VA rules regulation and incompetence and the non caring MD’s who fail to stay on top of it.

  4. Benjamin: Nice “Bad VA Art” today. All that’s really missing is a background soundtrack of DEVO’s “Whip It, Whip It Good”, as I’m having an 80’s flashback about now but they’ve all grown-up….”Whip It, Whip It Good”!!

  5. Withdraw is a very critical stage, a lot of the reason people fail to discontinue, and risk overdose and neurological damage. And their stupid war on drugs is a failure, it’s actually a war on people, If it is a criminal justice issue how’s come big pharma executives arn’t locked in a box. VA’s treatment centers just don’t cut it and can be harmful mentally.

    • The “alternate” medication is antidepressants. The VA wants to change your thoughts on pain by changing your brain. This is brainwashing, nothing more nothing less.
      I do feel this video message is more of a “say goodbye to what is actually helping your pain because we will be taking it away”.
      f8f

      • VA learned that Pain Is Not Real, its all in your brain. They got that info from Phantom Pain felt by amputee’s.

  6. Who created this wall, Who is paying for it. A new pill is etched on-site every 24 minutes so Who is paying for that. Who is paying every time the Memorial gets moved to another state. I can’t find those answers. FUVA

  7. Let me see if I have this right. You people at the VA cannot even deal with the backlog for treatment of deserving Vets or rating them, and yet you have time to go and see a faux ‘memorial’ which does not deserve to even be called that name, and it sits in the WH being paid for by our tax money?

    Does anyone but me see something wrong with this picture???

  8. Off Topic
    April 19 was bicycle day, the day doc Al Hofmann took that infamous ride through the Swiss countryside. Ever take notice that the drugs that have the most promise in treating mentally illness have been banned.
    And if the VA is serious about treating addiction and mental health problems it should start by getting honest about the problem, and stop the quackery.

  9. Wonderful. Great idea. Put the responsible party for letting hardware contracts for the military in charge of the VA. Who could better cut veteran entitlements than Sec Va. Lots of dollars freed up for those hardware contracts. Wilke should do well with his military industrial stocks. May even get some sweetheart deals from Haliburton, Boeing and others.

  10. I didn’t know we have an Opioid Memorial. Perhaps it’s right next to the Opioid Monument, praising Pig Pharma’s successes lobbying and marketing their highly addictive product. Bad guys never go to jail.

    • That Opioid Monument praising Pig Pharma is indeed already near the D.C. Swamp and it’s an erection disguised as the Nat’l Monument…they just finished patching the earthquake damage, as they called it, but it was actually becoming flaccid with age and Pig Pharma patched it up with pure Viagra mixed into cement, keeping all Uncle Sugar’s Minions’ 401K Mutual Fund portfolios also erect with future earnings….

      Did you know the VA, back when I used them, would only RX -2- Viagra MAX a MONTH? Yep, according to VA, they do not understand that even ED can have profound negative effects on our emotional futures….but no, only twice a month….all for the Vets….

  11. Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.
    Those asswipes that never did a real days work must think everyone feels as good as they do, They don’t even know what it’s like standing in line at the grocery store, Let alone know what pain is, Stick it up your ass VA

    • Oldmarine. Yeah damn funny to know the country clubbers and connected have access to their meds or Xanax or whatever. Per beauty salon gossip and witnesses. We aren’t supposed to ask who their special clinics and MDs are for city workers/unions, country club crowd, or politicians.

      Damn odd too are those claiming never having trouble with the VA staff, or wrong doing, getting their meds, claiming chronic pain, are up working on roofs, jumping in and out of their new pick-up trucks down by the local clinic, or can ride on a rice burner for hours going sight seeing out of state, riding or running trails and such. Something is pretty f-ed up in this land and it ain’t us. I guess double standards and corruption are good from some.

      If I wanted to play asshole I could learn to take photos or vids on my cell phone and post them on the net. But I don’t care to play rat or info scum-bag like some others do. And I have enough on my plate to deal with. I am to the point I hate this country and the majority of various trash who live here claiming to be good or some kind of ‘oath keeper.’

  12. Max dosage of ibuprofen and putting you in Physical therapy (Practically for any health issue) until the student physical therapist says your all fixed now seems to be the standard procedeure now….

    • Rpb D
      That is the reason my digestive tract is junk. VA prescribed ibuprofen to me for several years and now I am paying dearly.
      I have a chronic iron deficiency due to my GI tract will no longer absorb things like iron, vitamins, ETC…
      I get a gram of iron via IV every month and my levels never get within the normal range. Stay away from the ibuprofen, it is worse than the opioids
      f8f

      • figure8fam. my digestion was ruined by doctor drugs. couldn’t digest anything, then i got the “flu”. i’m fixing my digestion with raw cream, raw & cooked liver, fish, butter, and a few other fats/supplements. sv3rige channel on youtube helped alot. vids & comments. my daughter had same thing and we’re using same fixes and they’re working.

        as for opioids, they have not proven it’s actually the pain meds that kill, if there’s killing being done. besides, cannabis gives better pain relief than opioids.

  13. If you really need pain medication like many Vets do from time to time, the VA wants you to sign a form so they can piss check you anytime they want and if they wish can also come to your home without a warrant, and do a search and seizure. So if you really need the help with pain, the Va wants to take your rights and freedoms away or you get nothing, not even once in a while or as needed for pain.

    I have a real problem with any system or Agency that does such things at will and without notice or reason.

    Now all I have is 800 mg. ibuprofen tablets that will destroy my kidneys and others things, sure is a good choice, to die a slow painful death in kidney failure.

    • Edward,
      I was prescribed 800mg, three times a day for several years. It is not a good alternative. It damaged my GI tract and caused my iron deficiency anemia. I have had to deal with this now since 2012. I have to take vitamins, oral iron, IV iron, minerals, ETC…because my GI tract no longer absorbs these..

      • Goats milk may help, it helps metabolize iron, sheeps milks maybe better, it comes in cans now, I used to go to an Amish farmer to get mine. Better than cows milk. I had an ulcer in my upper gi track it helped me, better than tegamet. anyway food for thought

  14. They need to legalize marijuana and substitute it for opiods. It helps with the pain and many other things.

  15. Nice day today, beautiful, got me all flay waving and shit like that. Excuse me bro, let me get in over to there, I think that I’m going to put up another flag on the other side too. May as well say something good in this day, age, and time. Hey, hey, ho, ho, VA you surely got a long way to go. For realz.

  16. Too late VA and New World Order. Vets are already being hated, ignored, “stigmatized.” Scum bags. News reports claim they will not report on suicides since it may harm, offend, embarrass, or blemish the names of family. Or may violate some HIPPA regs. Force people to total despair, drive them out of the VA, then claim to care or use “analytics” for powers to abuse, not help.
    “https://federalnewsradio.com/veterans-affairs/2018/04/predictive-analytics-pointing-va-to-veterans-at-risk-of-suicide/”

  17. 04/25/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    There is new movement in the VA that could make a change, having our Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie standing at the new [Nov. 10, 2017,] National Safety Council opioid memorial called “Prescribed to Death” [representing 22,000 deaths] is a sign that things will be getting better.

    Corrective Actions in America are extremely slow, until recently when most Americans now see the end game.

    Good Work,

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

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