Throughout the past decade or so, it has become abundantly clear that the best treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder will be highly specialized in accordance with the specific needs of each veteran. Combating PTSD begins with raising awareness, and is then driven by access to a broad spectrum of options with respect to rehabilitation. Many groups have sprouted up that seek to help veterans through the healing process in new ways.
"Combating PTSD begins with awareness."
Between expanding the medicinal options available and offering alternative treatments, advocacy groups, government agencies and other entities are having a tremendously positive impact on the veteran community. One of the biggest topics of conversation in this arena on the national level has been the use of medicinal marijuana to treat PTSD, and Rhode Island just made a move to further relevant research and treatment options for veterans in the state.
Thanks to consistently positive results of studies related to the use of medicinal marijuana for PTSD treatment, regulators have been pushing new reforms to make this once-controversial drug legal and available to veterans. The Providence Journal recently reported that Governor Gina Raimondo will either pass or veto a measure that was passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly to expand the definitions of legal treatments for PTSD in the state to include medicinal marijuana. The legislation has been dubbed the Edward O. Hawking and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act.
"Medical marijuana is already the law of Rhode Island. We've already established that it works in treating certain conditions," said Senator Stephen Archambault, who introduced the bill into the Assembly, according to the source. "It is unconscionable that we would not add PTSD to the list of medical conditions that would benefit from it. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very real psychological problem, particularly among our veteran community, and it's our responsibility to provide them with treatment options that can alleviate their suffering."
The news provider pointed out that scientific studies have shown medicinal marijuana to be highly effective in treating the depression, anxiety and flashbacks associated with PTSD – a disorder which roughly 30 percent of post-September 11 veterans experience. The Providence Journal noted that the bill was built in such a way that fast tracks the various statutes to ensure, once it is signed into law by Governor Raimondo, the treatment will be logistically accessible to veterans as quickly as possible.
Getting the necessary assistance
PTSD has had many names throughout the past century, but one could make the argument that it is better-understood by the medical community, government and military than ever before. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wealth of information and services regarding the most effective types of treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, medication and brief psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Veterans suffering from PTSD should not hesitate to seek out assistance from the local, state and federal entities available to support them through the healing process.