The Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center said it is working to reduce the rate at which veterans are prescribed opioid pain medications that can lead to addiction.

The VA responded Friday to a report that the Roseburg VA has the highest rate of opioid prescriptions of any VA in the country. The report was released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It said 20 percent of the prescriptions veterans received at the Roseburg VA pharmacy were for opioids.

The study also said the Roseburg VA has decreased its opioid prescription rate by 30 percent over the past 5 years.

“Roseburg VA Health Care System providers have focused on the safe use of opioids while slowly and steadily decreasing prescription rates,” the VA said in a written statement Friday.

It also said it’s been making use of physical therapy and other treatments ranging from yoga to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Other treatments include chiropractic care and battlefield acupuncture, which the VA said is “one of the larger programs we developed and are having significant anecdotal benefits and satisfaction.”

The data released Thursday was compiled by the VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative. It found opioid prescription rates ranging from 3 to 20 percent. The lowest rates were at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA in Ohio and the San Juan VA in Puerto Rico.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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