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PTSD: Reefer Madness & Dangerous DrugsDr. Phil Leveque Professor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com
Marijuana is the Best, Safest Drug
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one of the worst afflictions to hit us as thinking people. Although it has been recorded in history for about 4,000 years, it probably has been around longer than that. Even military dogs get it, so it must be much more universal for thinking critters than we have considered.
We, as a country, have recorded PTSD in every war since our revolutionary war, but it certainly afflicted soldiers far before that time. The British had severe penalties against their own soldiers who we now know could not do combat anymore for psychological reasons; they were shot or hung for "lack of moral fiber". Who wants to get shot, maimed or killed anyhow? The several standard treatments for PTSD are frequently worse than the psychological condition itself.
For years, our military opined that PTSD was a temporary condition except for officers who, if they showed even a tendency for a psychological breakdown, were most frequently sent to the rear or even home. This was usually not the case for enlisted men. From front line battle situations they were sometimes sent to the rear and given a triple dose of sleeping pills to "sleep it off", a shower, a change of clothes, a couple of warm meals and then - back to where bullets, artillery and mortar rounds were flying. Their foxholes were still about as lethal as standing up in a firefight.
In Vietnam in particular, the "legal drug pushers" were issuing every type of drug you can imagine and most you've never heard of or thought of. PTSD was considered some sort of depression by the military, which it wasn't.....it's actually a combination of terror and anguish about comrades destroyed or killed beside ones self.
The medics even had a new type of drug to play with called Anti-Depressants, which really weren't that at all. Most of them caused sleep or at least goofiness. Who wants to be goofy on the front lines?
Although a ton or more of anti-depressants where forced on the troops it was later conceded that they really didn't work at all. They literally destroyed whole battalions of combat troops.
Many of the morphine-like drugs were used and they are really great for pain of wounds and they really do cause sleep. I will presume they caused a lot of deaths by suicide or accidental overdose of those who did not want to go back to the front lines.
The opiate deaths in the U.S. are about 40,000 per year; even to this day Vietnam PTSD Veterans are still committing suicide with them.
Most combat men, Army and Marines, discovered alcohol as a tranquilizer and sleep aid, some in basic training. This was a two-edged sword. About 88,000 people, veterans included, die each year from alcohol by overdosing or destroying their livers.
Combat men and women usually smoke a lot of cigarettes. Cigarettes kill about 480,000 people per year and even 2nd hand smoke kills about 42,000, which makes it just about as bad as opiates.
Some other drugs kill veterans and civilians but the above are the most important drugs- the most DANGEROUS.
A really strange thing has come about particularly with the Vietnam veterans. They've seen the evolution of the marijuana movement.
Marijuana grows wild or semi-wild all over that country. It is certain that many U.S. troops had used it before but while they were in Vietnam its use literally exploded. When they came home many brought it with them and were astonished when customs took it away from them.
That didn't stop them from using marijuana. They had discovered that it helped them sleep, and eat, and often cope with the aftermath of war on their psyches. And so they self-medicated with marijuana, even though it was not legal in the U.S. Those that chose marijuana over alcohol or hard drugs are mostly still here to tell about it.
In the meantime, medical marijuana was legalized starting about 1996. When the veterans found this out, they came in droves to get their medical marijuana permits.
In New Mexico, 50% of permit holders are veterans with PTSD. Thousands of Oregon veterans suffering from PTSD are legal, card-carrying patients. Some states still restrict it for PTSD but most veterans have other conditions which will get them a permit.
About 23 states have legalized medical marijuana. Five more states are about to legalize it.
HOORAY FOR MARIJUANA!!
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