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VA Pain Pill Usage Criticized

Florida’s VA hospitals fared better than other facilities in a report claiming the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs system mishandles narcotic prescriptions, the Tampa Bay Timesreports.

The VA Inspector General report found the medical centers routinely violated rules such as urine screening when prescribing the highly addictive drugs to about 450,000 veterans, the Times reports.

The report ranked the region that includes Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as fifth-lowest in usage of narcotic painkillers out of the VA's 21 different regions, according to the Times.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.