Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom leads investigation of the medications’ co-prescription and veteran overdoses and deaths. Are veterans who simultaneously take opioids for chronic pain and benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia at an increased risk of unintentional overdose and death as well as suicide? Nearly 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the United States, a statistic that has led the Department of Veterans Affairs to make suicide prevention its highest priority and to recognize the risks from the simultaneous use of opioids and benzodiazepines. To tackle the issue, the VA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a committee of experts to evaluate the effects of opioid and benzodiazepine use on all-cause mortality of U.S. veterans, including suicide. To read the full story.