Cannabis for PTSD
Posted on November 27 2017
28 states now include PTSD in their medical marijuana programs. The idea of using cannabis to help veterans cope with their PTSD is not a new one. More and more states have taken up new legislation on the idea of decriminalizing cannabis on a medical and recreational level.
Whether or not you agree with the use of cannabis, the amount of personal anecdotes of veterans with PTSD using this form of treatment is beginning to get hard to ignore. Their claims are so numerous, that the American Legion has begun to change their stance on the topic as well. They have started pushing the federal government to ease restrictions of medical cannabis research.
As a veteran myself, I openly support medical marijuana for the treatment of PTSD. From both a fiscal and physical point of view. Fiscally, if what many veterans are claiming is true, than cannabis has the ability to save the government money. Many veterans have reported that since switching to this treatment, they have stopped taking all other forms of medication. No more multiple, costly pills. The federal government could stop relying so much on big pharmaceutical companies. Beyond that, if the use of cannabis leads veterans to be more willing to attend therapy sessions and actually treat their PTSD than merely mask it with pills, then the amount of money saved could be quite substantial. If more veterans actually went to their appointments and received the treatments they actually need, we could see a decrease in PTSD rates across the board. This means less money in disability claims, in hospital resources and also indirect family problems caused by PTSD.
Physically, breaking the dependence of hard drugs should always be our common goal. The opiod crisis in America is out of control and it effects our veteran community significantly. So much that the VA has put out new guidelines to address this issue (https://www.va.gov/painmanagement/opioid_safety_initiative_osi.asp). Many veterans have reported that since switching to cannabis, they no longer feel like a zombie and they actually enjoy being around other people.
One of the problems with severe PTSD is that many veterans shut themselves off from the world around them. If cannabis has the ability to break this defense mechanism down, then why should we not employ it? This is one of the big reasons why I advocate for service dogs. They help veterans reach out to the communities around them. They are barrier breakers.
We need our veterans to talk about their experiences. If they don't, they can't heal. We owe it to them to provide every possible avenue in order for them to heal. We always talk about choice in this country, yet we don't offer choice where it really matters.