Published: Jul 11, 2011 7:27 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 11, 2011 6:27 PM EDT

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - The Army is restricting how many prescription painkillers soldiers can buy at one time as it responds to rising abuse of potentially addictive drugs.

Many troops are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with chronic pain from combat or training injuries.

Army data requested by The Associated Press shows the number of soldiers referred for opiate abuse treatment has been rising for at least a decade, from 87 in fiscal year 1998-99 to 703 referrals in fiscal year 2008-09.

New rules limit most controlled substances to 30-day prescriptions. Before the new rule, there were also 60 and 90-day prescriptions.

Soldiers can also be disciplined if the Army finds they are still using such drugs six months after a prescription.

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