Thursday December 12, 2013
Marijuana Vs. Anti-Depressants for PTSD
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Image courtesy: vawatchdog.org
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I was asked by a healthcare professional at the Portland VA Hospital if I would help PTSD Veteran Victims to get permits to use legalized medical marijuana. I already had some Veteran patients from WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
The doctors and other healthcare professionals had heard from a sprinkling of Nam Vets that marijuana provided good relief PTSD and probably other battle related problems including pain from gunshots, mine blasts and almost anything else.
I told her yes and within two weeks I had more than 50 Nam Vets requesting my help. As part of their medical history I asked what previous medicines they had been given or prescribed.
I was astonished to review the lists. There were two main types: strong pain killers like Oxycontin and Morphine and every related pain killer.
Apparently many of these were given just to knock out the patients. These drugs are called narcotics because they CAUSE sleep.
Most PTSD victims have insomnia or difficulty going to or staying asleep. The second type of drugs were anti-depressants. Severe pain causes depression and some do enable sleep.
I was flabbergasted to read the anti-depressant list of many patients; Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, etc it goes on through the whole list of about 12.
The Vets were adamant about the miserable adverse side effects of both these kinds of drugs. I was familiar with the drugs like Morphine but the new class of anti-depressants had me baffled. I was also familiar with amphetamine type drugs which were stimulants which I originally assumed must be related in action to the anti-depressants.
Elavil was one of the first anti-depressants and it was a mild stimulant like a junior grade amphetamine but the newer ones were definitely in another ball park. The Vets complained that they were zombified by them and many stopped them and resorted to alcohol because of the illegality and scarceness of marijuana.
I checked my computer for anti-depressant dangers. I don’t shock easy but this was a shock. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) reported that they caused a whole bunch of very bad adverse side effect including anxiety, depression, addiction, severe withdrawal, homicidal rage and suicide.
These PTSD Veterans didn’t need these adverse effects on top of PTSD.
Subsequent to my success with these Vets with marijuana I heard from Veterans all over the U.S. and the world that marijuana was better than both Morphine drugs and anti-depressants.
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More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
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