Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can now be legally treated with medical cannabis, according to an important bill signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Nov. 11, 2017. The PTSD bill was the part of a legislative package to mark the Veterans Day observed every year on November 11.
“Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home,” said Cuomo, extending this new treatment option not only to veterans, but also to about 19,000 New Yorkers battling PTSD, ranging from survivors of domestic violence and police officers to victims of crime and accidents.
Besides, as a tribute to soldiers for their commendable service to the nation, Cuomo also signed two other legislations to provide additional days off for combat veterans in state employment and waive off civil service examination fees for those who were honorably discharged from duties. The governor said that the new laws would provide veterans with every possible opportunity to experience success even when they return home. In addition to these measures, Cuomo announced a new initiative allowing veterans to order license plates specific to their area of service, showing that they served in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), around 11-20 percent of armed forces personnel who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) may experience PTSD in a given year. Besides, experts estimate that nearly 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans are likely to battle PTSD at some point in their lives. Referring to the use of medical marijuana to treat specific conditions, the New York Governor said that his priorities lie in making such treatments available to the needy, as he believes that the nation hasn’t reciprocated the way it should do for the selfless service rendered by the veterans. Although the amount of scientific evidence required to establish the efficacy of medical cannabis to treat PTSD is insufficient, a 2014 study conducted in New Mexico claimed that medical marijuana could reduce PTSD symptoms by 75 percent.
Overlooking PTSD can lead to dangerous consequences
Prolonged exposure to traumatic events can leave any individual vulnerable to PTSD. However, men and women in uniform who are sent on heroic assignments have greater chances of experiencing extreme levels of stress or trauma, pushing them toward PTSD. Some of the most common manifestations of PTSD are feeling overburdened with memories of an agonizing past and horrendous flashbacks recreating past ordeals.
Unfortunately, not every victim of PTSD makes an effort to seek professional support to break free from such distressing condition. Living in a society stereotyped with conventions where the mere expression of weakness is often considered as a sign of moral failure exacerbates the existing condition and reinforces the stigma surrounding mental health problems. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), an estimated 7.7 million people aged 18 and older in the U.S. have PTSD.
Leading a mentally healthy life
PTSD is a severe mental health problem that can strike anyone undergoing traumatic experience, such as a war, a catastrophe or a dreadful tragedy. If left unaddressed, such a condition could snowball into something serious in the future. Without proper medical intervention, individuals grappling with PTSD are more prone to other dangers like addiction to substances, chronic depression and anxiety.
Sovereign Health of San Clemente offers a variety of customized treatment for PTSD in California. Specialists at our world-class treatment centers are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe effective treatment as well as group psychotherapy based on the patients’ requirements. If you or your loved one is battling PTSD or any other trauma, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives for more information on our treatment centers.