Government injecting veterans with cocaine for drug addiction research

April 30th, 2009 in Breaking News

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Drug-addicted veterans are being injected with cocaine by researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in taxpayer-funded studies, The Examiner has learned.

The study subjects are being given the injections as part of a search for medicines that researchers hope will block cocaine absorption in the body, said Timothy O’Leary, the VA’s acting director of research and development.

All the subjects were recruited because they were addicted to cocaine, O’Leary said. About 40 volunteers — most of them veterans — are being given injections at VA labs in Kansas City and San Antonio, he added.

Hundreds of veterans have apparently been used as human subjects in the past decade, according to records and interviews with officials.

The VA has handed over several other abstracts from studies over the past decade, and O’Leary said his agency has been conducting such research for at least 25 years.

O’Leary said that the subjects’ safety was paramount. But documents of a decade-old study that tested morphine on veterans found nearly 800 “adverse events” from anorexia to heart tremors.


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