On average, 22 U.S. military veterans commit suicide each day. That’s over 8,000 per year.
This statistic does not account for veterans who are living under bridges because they cannot assimilate back into society.
To put this into perspective, a total of 6,700 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan AND Iraq combined since 2001.
Let those figures and statistics sink in for a moment while you process this travesty.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder. It can occur after one has gone through an extreme emotional trauma that involved the threat of injury or death. While it is not limited to veterans, all who have seen active combat are susceptible to this condition.
PTSD is difficult to treat because it is a mental disorder and the human brain is a complex organ. Another factor making PTSD difficult to treat is that it is nearly always associated with other psychiatric comorbidities. Accepted medical treatment for PTSD includes administration of serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors(SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants(TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOi), anticonvulsants, atypical antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines.
These highly psychoactive drugs are effective at treating the anxiety associated with PTSD, but do nothing to stop its cause – the pathological overconsolidation and continuous retrieval of the traumatic event.
The ideal therapeutic treatment for PTSD would be a drug that blocks the pathological overconsolidation and continuous retrieval of the traumatic event, while enhancing its extinction and reducing the anxiety symptoms.
The FDA hasn’t approved any drugs that can do this.
That’s because the FDA is not following science and the DEA lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical uses.
Preclinical and clinical studies show cannabis as a perfect therapeutic options to treat both the emotional and cognitive abnormalities associated with PTSD. When administered properly, cannabinoids impair memory retrieval while encouraging memory extinction. ‘Erasing’ traumatic and destructive memories is the solution to treating PTSD. Medical marijuana can do this. This may be why so many veterans use marijuana – they are self-medicating.
Traditional medical and rehabilitation groups always cite the comorbidity between PTSD and marijuana ‘abuse’ as destructive. They base these assertions on obsolete misinformation about marijuana, not scientific facts.
They cite the fact the high doses of THC may cause anxiety and paranoia, thus perpetuating the development of PTSD. It is true that unregulated and unmeasured doses of THC can cause anxiety and paranoia.
This reinforces the need for medical marijuana to be regulated and researched by objective professionals in a controlled setting.
Even more encouraging is recent clinical studies have reported that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), facilitates disruption of contextual fear memories. Here is a link to the study:
I don’t know how much more scientific and medical evidence we need to provide to our government to convince them that we need to start researching the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Maybe we can use some of the trillions our government spends sending 19-year-old kids to get PTSD by fighting unwinnable, never-ending wars.
A message to veterans: Thank you for risking your lives to protect ours. Halcyon Organics has not forgotten about y’all. We know you are suffering. We are fighting to help you access treatment that may improve your lives.
God bless you.
By: Daniel Macris, founder and ceo of Halcyon Organics.
© 2015 Halcyon Organics