Antidepressants are among the most commonly utized medications to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the insomnia, anger, nightmares and anxiety that usually come with it.
Unfortunately, they’re not guaranteed to be much help to those suffering from Posttraumatic Stress.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest; Risperdal, a widely prescribed drug, is no more effective in treating PTSD than placebos. This research adds to earlier scientific studies on the ineffectiveness of most PTSD Medications.
Presently, there is just one medication available that has been shown to alleviate the Symptoms of PTSD. That is marijuana !
The Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA) finds itself in a difficult state of affairs because many veterans who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Vietnam, and/or other military operations want to use marijuana to Treat Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress.
VA doctors can not recommend marijuana, but they can acknowledge the use of the medication, confirmed by a standard VA blood test, and holder of a Medical Marijuana Card.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have marijuana laws on the books, but the United States is a long way from legalization, and for that matter, general acceptance of marijuana as a medicine.
If we’re serious about seeking an effective remedy for PTSD, and serving 200,000+ veterans who served our nation, with this disorder, the federal law must changed, so no veteran will be discriminated against.
For conclusive scientific answers, we need FDA-approved research to assess the benefits of marijuana in a clinical environment.
The FDA approved such a protocol to study the potential of marijuana for veterans suffering from chronic, Treatment-Resistant PTSD.
It’s not a guaranteed solution, but sufficient evidence now exists to show that marijuana as a standard treatment, must be studied.
At present, the federal government will not fund additional research to proceed that could prove marijuana’s effectiveness.
In 2006, one of the pioneers of medical marijuana in the US, the late Tod Mikuriya, published his research in a paper in a scientific journal reporting on his experience with those suffering from PTSD.
He compared marijuana to commonly prescribed medications and noted that marijuana worked better to control chronic stressors, without adverse side effects. “Based on both safety and efficacy,” he wrote, “Cannabis should be considered first in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress ...”
A few years later, the Israeli physician Irit Akirav published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience that alluded to the potential benefits of marijuana for PTSD patients.
Akirav found in an animal study that Cannabinoids (the active chemicals in marijuana) may reduce the effects of PTSD. “The results of our research,” Akirav noted, “should encourage psychiatric investigation into using cannabinoids in posttraumatic stress patients.”
It was found in New Mexico (state where PTSD was added as a qualifying condition to the medical marijuana program) after an evaluation of the available research, more patients use Marijuana for PTSD than for any other condition.
Most veterans, when given the option to use marijuana to alleviate PTSD, will take advantage of the opportunity. In September, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes published a story about Army Sgt Jamey Raines, who talked openly about how he had used marijuana to treat PTSD triggered by heavy combat duty in Iraq.
“Marijuana was not just helpful,…” Raines said - it is the only substance he found effective.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Marijuana Treatment
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Veterans Medical Marijuana Card becomes active and valid when the Home Office receives Form 2012-001 signed by a VA physician or other medical professional.