Tag Archives: PTSD

"It’s the height of hypocrisy,"…

FDA Is Open To Medical Marijuana For Vets, But Other Agencies Stand In The Way

Mona Zhang , Contributor

Dr. Sue Sisley, a medical marijuana researcher, speaks at the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the Capitol in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned cannabidiol producers against making medical claims about cannabis products, it seemed par for the course for any federal agency. Cannabis is simply not considered medicine in the eyes of the government.

But the FDA actually appears pretty open to considering the potential of marijuana as medicine. “We’ve had good experiences working with the FDA,” said Brad Burge, communications director at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The non-profit is currently conducting the first FDA- and DEA-approved clinical trial on whole-plant marijuana and enrolled its 30th participant on October 26.

“We have a long relationship with the FDA — a lot through our MDMA research. They’ve been open to approving research protocols into Schedule I drugs,” said Burge. “It’s other regulatory agencies that have been standing in the way.”

It’s certainly unhelpful that the National Institutes of Drug Abuse have a monopoly on growing research cannabis. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department aren’t helpful on this front either. But the lack of support for the study from Veterans Affairs (VA) is even more egregious.

Dr. Sue Sisley, the trial’s lead researcher, says she’s determined to focus on veterans for this study. She plans to examine the effects of cannabis on 76 subjects with treatment-resistant PTSD. Her main motivation in focusing on veterans is the epidemic of veteran suicides in the U.S. The VA estimates that about 22 veterans commit suicide every day – Sisley thinks that number is probably higher.

“As a scientist, I’m skeptical of subjective claims,” said Sisley. “[But] we have a mountain of anecdotal reports from veterans claiming that cannabis is lifesaving.”

The implications go beyond saving their lives – Sisley has heard plenty of military spouses and children sing the praises of the drug. “The kids will say, ‘I got my dad back’ after years of [him] being disengaged, irritable and mean,” she said.

Now, her main challenge is recruiting enough veterans who fit the study criteria and are able to participate on-site in Phoenix, Arizona. Sisley estimates that the Phoenix VA hospital has 20,000 veterans in their system who meet the study’s eligibility requirements. But the hospital is refusing to provide information about the study to its patients.

“[In] some of the states that have put in appropriate controls [for medical marijuana], there may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin at a White House press briefing in May. “We’re interested in looking at that and learning from that.”

But Sisley says that Shulkin has so far refused to express support for her study: “It’s the height of hypocrisy,” she said.

“The VA Secretary could make a call to the Phoenix VA, and we could start sharing information with these patients,” said Sisley. “Why does it take political courage to defend a federally legal study? Not even defend it, just fast-track it. We’ve been stonewalled at every turn.”

The researchers have paid for various types of advertising and hired a veteran to oversee recruitment efforts. Still, “the issue for us is [getting] cooperation from the Phoenix VA hospital,” said Sisley. Recruitment has dwindled to a “pretty slow trickle.”

If the study fails to recruit 46 more veterans in the next couple of months, “we’ll have to reevaluate,” she said. “We fought for so many years and the veteran community has stood shoulder to shoulder with us, helping us kick down the doors… Many of them have adopted this trial as their own.”

The American Legion, a veterans organization that has more than 2 million members, called on the VA to support the clinical trial in September. “We ask for your direct involvement to ensure this critical research is fully enabled,” wrote the organization’s National Commander Denis Rohan in a letter to Shulkin. “[The study] could potentially produce scientific evidence that will enhance, improve, and save the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.”

But Shulkin has remained mum on the issue.

“I’m assuming that [Attorney General] Sessions has created an atmosphere of fear around the word ‘cannabis’ and so nobody’s willing to step out,” said Sisley. “The FDA deserves major commendation because they at least are responsive.”

CONTINUE READING…

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IBOGAINE FOR PTSD! The Quieted Rage

Image result for Ibogaine

 

By Damon Matthew Smith

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that has had limited progress in the creation of viable treatment options for people afflicted with this despair and rage inducing disorder. Conventional medicine has come up with no long-term answers to the problem, which not only has a range of dangers for the person who has PTSD but also for the society at large.

Time magazine reported in the article WAR ON SUICIDE?, “While veterans account for about 10% of all U.S. adults, they account for 20% of U.S. suicides.” (Gibbs and Thompson) This is a startling percentage, 1 in 5 deaths caused by suicide are veterans of war. Another 1:5 ratio is important to note when discussing the burgeoning problem of PTSD, “Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment, according to a new RAND Corporation study.” (www.rand.org) 

This study was the first of its kind to look at this epidemic in all branches of the US military, and its implications are terrifying. This is a mental health crisis that neither traditional psychology/psychiatry nor the VA and military leaders have provided any real solutions as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on. The situation is dire.

I went to the first War in Iraq in 1990-91 as an Army Combat Medic. It was given the catchy nicknames of first Desert Shield and then, when the US started the air assault, Desert Storm. After coming back stateside, I started to suffer from bouts of rage, severe depression, thoughts of suicide (one botched attempt with pills and a bottle of whiskey), and more and more self-medication with alcohol. When I was discharged in 1998, I was in college full time and had a supportive family and group of friends, but still my alcohol abuse and difficulty containing my bouts of rage and the aftermath of chronic depression was accelerating. I battled through and achieved some academic and personal success, earning two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree, getting married to my longtime girlfriend, and finding my first adjunct teaching positions. However, I was unable to contain the absolute anger I experienced at the most insignificant triggers. The crying of a baby, the smell of diesel fuel, the sound of a helicopter flying over, the dropping of a metal pan on the kitchen floor, a car following to close, or a dissatisfied boss (lost many a college teaching job due to my PTSD), and I would fly into uncontrollable screaming and yelling fits, at times turning this rage inward, falling to the ground in palsied sobbing and unintelligible babbling. By 2005, I quit drinking and felt this would solve the problem, save me from the growing fear I had of going outside, of my wife leaving me, of being out of control once again, and, most importantly, of taking my own life. It helped, but only temporarily. The rage, depression and suicidal ideation soon began again its assault on my daily life.

Flash forward to today, the end of 2012, and I feel free of this dominating anger and the violent outbursts, my triggers of the past have little effect on my behavior and mood, and for the first time since before my wartime traumas I feel positive and excited about my future. This stunning transformation came out of my experience at the end of this Summer with a substance called Ibogaine. Ibogaine is an alkaloid derived from the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub found in West equatorial Africa and has a long history of shamanic and medical use with tribes of that region. In recent years it has produced media attention due to reports of effectiveness in treating drug addiction and providing opiate addicts with significantly reduced, or at times completely alleviated, withdrawal symptoms during detox.

I had to travel to Costa Rica because of its illegality in the US ( Schedule I, along with Heroin and Methamphetamines), and was treated by Lex Kogan at the medically supervised Ibogaine treatment center named fittingly– Iboga Path . He required an EKG and Liver Panel blood test before I was allowed to come to his center, which he reviewed with his onsite doctor and medical staff to rule out counter indications for Ibogaine treatment. After my file was reviewed, I received the call that my treatment would be conducted on the 22nd of August and that I would be picked up at the airport by none other than Eric Taub, a central pioneer in the use of Ibogaine since the late 80’s. I have known Eric for 7 years, first meeting him in 2005 after I stopped drinking, then working with him over the years developing his novel but simple idea that no child should be without clean water, nutritious food, safe shelter and a digital age education. You can see our efforts to bring this concept to life by building models for International Cooperative Education and Global Sustainability Awareness and Action at our organization’s website,www.ICANRevolution.org.

After a 35 minute drive through the hills of Costa Rica, I was dropped off at the center. My intake into the center was comfortable and laid back. Lex talked with me for a few hours, assuaged my fears about the experience significantly with his knowledge and hospitality, shown my room where I would be staying for the duration of my experience, and I ate my last meal made up of a myriad of local, organically grown fruit before my treatment in the morning. When I woke up that morning I was instructed to drink water, as much as I liked, because during the experience I would be limited to only a few sips an hour to avoid nausea. I filled up a few glasses, downed them, then made my way outside for a walk before my treatment to clear my head. The mountain air was crisp, as I walked up the hillside road lined with coffee plants and trees filled with tropical birds my mind was all abuzz with what was about to happen. So many thoughts permeated my brain, and as panic started to overtake me I found myself experiencing a low grade anxiety attack. It would be my last.

CONTINUE READING…

Why Are So Many Veterans on Death Row?

By Jeffrey Toobin

A new study shows that at least ten per cent of death-row inmates are military veterans.

The death penalty has always provided a window into the darkest corners of American life. Every pathology that infects the nation as a whole—racism, most notably—also affects our decisions about whom to execute. A new report from the Death Penalty Information Center adds a new twist to this venerable pattern.

The subject of the report, just in time for Veterans Day, is the impact of the death penalty on veterans. The author, Richard C. Dieter, the longtime executive director of the invaluable D.P.I.C., estimates that “at least 10% of the current death row—that is, over 300 inmates—are military veterans. Many others have already been executed.” In a nation where roughly seven per cent of the population have served in the military, this number alone indicates disproportionate representation. But in a nation where military service has traditionally been seen as a route into the middle class—and where being a vet has been seen as more of a benefit than a burden—the military numbers are especially disturbing.

Why are so many veterans on death row? Dieter asserts that many veterans “have experienced trauma that few others in society have ever encountered—trauma that may have played a role in their committing serious crimes.” Although this is hardly the case with every veteran, or even the overwhelming majority of them, Dieter goes on to relate several harrowing stories that follow this model. Because of such traumas, many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, for which they have too often received poor treatment, or none at all.

Veterans who kill are not, by and large, hit men or members of organized crime or gangs. They very often lash out at those around them. Dieter notes that a third of the homicide victims killed by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were family members or girlfriends. Another quarter were fellow service members. This record suggests that, if these veterans had received adequate mental-health care, at least some of them and their victims might have had a different fate.

But it’s possible to see, in the D.P.I.C. study, an echo of another recent high-profile study. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, of Princeton, found that the death rates for middle-aged white men have increased significantly in the past decade or so. This was largely due, according to the authors, to “increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis.” The Princeton study fits into a larger pattern in American life, which is the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites.

That cohort has gravitated to military service for generations. And while, again, most veterans never commit any crime, much less crimes that carry the death penalty, the sour legacies of our most recent wars certainly play into the despair of many veterans. Earlier generations of veterans came home from war to ticker-tape parades, a generous G.I. Bill, and a growing economy that offered them a chance at upward mobility. Younger veterans returned to P.T.S.D., a relatively stagnant economy, especially in rural and semi-rural areas, and an epidemic of drug abuse. And they came home to a society where widening income inequality suggested the futility of their engagement with the contemporary world.

In an interview with Vox, Deaton said that the death rate for members of this cohort had increased, in part, because they had “lost the narrative of their lives.” This elegant, almost poetic phrase can be read to include the lost promise of military service—the vanished understanding that veterans earned more than a paycheck, that they also gained a step up in status, both economic and social. The reality has been that many veterans returned to lives that were materially and spiritually worse than the ones they left, and far worse than the ones they expected.

According to the Princeton study, a shocking number of poorly educated whites turned their rage inward, in the form of drug abuse and suicide. But a small handful inflicted their rage on others, and an even smaller number wound up on death row. They are different groups of people, and their individual stories are even more variegated, but it’s possible to see across them the symptoms of a broader anguish.

CONTINUE READING…

Fired Professor Nominated For $2M Grant To Study Marijuana, PTSD –

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado is welcoming once-shunned marijuana researcher Dr. Sue Sisley, who in a controversial move was fired from her former position at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sisley, who was sacked in July, has been nominated for a $2 million grant from the state of Colorado to continue her medical research, reports Nina Golgowski at the New York Daily News.

The research pioneer expressed suspicion that her abrupt termination was due to political influence. Up until now, Dr. Sisley had feared that her study of the effects of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, would be halted without a lab.

With the proposed generous grant — awaiting a board’s December 17 decision — Sisley’s study into the potential benefits of cannabis, especially, to U.S. veterans, could continue.

“That’s the beauty of this grant,” Sisley told AZ Central. “The Colorado Health Department believed in the quality of this research regardless of whether I was aligned with an Arizona university or not.”

Sisley’s study plans to examine 76 veterans with PTSD, half of whom will be in Arizona — where a private donor has offered her free lab space — while the other half will be at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

The primary investigator overseeing both locations will be Marcel O. Bonn-Miller of the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs National Center for PTSD.

Dr. Sisley’s grant is one of eight, totaling $7.6 million, announced by Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council this week.

The other studies would examine the effectiveness of cannabis in treating Parkinson’s disease tremors, inflammatory bowel disease, complex pediatric epilepsy, palliative are for pediatric brain tumors, and chronic pain.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s health board will make the final decision for Dr. Sisley’s grant’s approval on December 17.

“Colorado is leading the way in devoting significant resources to study medical marijuana,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We hope the studies will contribute to the scientific research available about the use of marijuana in effectively treating various medical conditions.”

Sisley first teamed up with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) five years ago on a study of marijuana’s effectiveness on PTSD.

Photo: Erik Verduzco/Associated Press

– See more at: http://www.hemp.org/news/node/4388#sthash.rA9QB3UO.dpuf

PLEASE READ THIS…IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!

My name is Karen Ross-Glaser. I am a disabled 43 year-old single mother, who is trying to provide a better life for my family, away from the abuse we suffered in Michigan. We recently relocated to Arizona 3 years ago, due to a domestic violence situation. The children and I all suffer from PTSD, while the younger children have additional health issues. I am working with many agencies including counseling services to help the family heal.

                Recently, I was arrested and mistaken for someone else due to an Identity Theft issue. (http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/). Fifteen of my Civil rights were violated, including my disability act rights. Upon returning home a CPS investigator told myself and witnesses (CarrieAnn Mick and Charlie Warren) that they had taken my children into custody and I needed to sign a form giving CPS temporary three day custody of Elizabeth (16) and David (15). In shock and breaking down, my friend CarrieAnn holding me from collapsing.  I could barely see through my tears and I signed the paper without reading it.

                Later I realized that the form I previously signed was giving custody to CPS and that they are charging me with neglect and failure to protect; due to being incarcerated overnight, and the children being left unattended. Once CPS learned they were in the wrong and that the children did have supervision, even though they are old enough to be on their own. CPS then charged me with Substance abuse of marijuana (I am a legal Medical Marijuana card holder). CPS then ordered my oldest son and wife to not allow me contact with my newborn grandson.

                The children have been in custody since January 28th. Our counseling has been stopped and they haven’t arranged any visits for us. The courts ordered our counseling to continue and weekly visits to be given, yet CPS hasn’t complied. Since the children were placed in foster care they have been missing twice, skipped school a few times, been in a fight which resulted in a suspension from school and CPS has even allowed my son David who has a closed head injury to join a boxing group. Since the children have been gone, my disability has been cut and assessed child support. I am now at risk of losing our home. I am doing everything I can to raise the funds to hire the attorneys needed to handle this case. I have had to take in renters to help cover expenses and stay afloat. Yet, I am still struggling and haven’t been able to retain an attorney. While time is running out!

                I am being wrongfully accused and have the documentation to prove my innocents. I am fighting for my family, to clear my name, get my children back and save our home. I am desperate and pleading for any and all help that the public can give us!

*PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY FAMILY*

The problem with this situation trying to find legal help is that it is so widespread and complicated. I’ve been told I need a team of different types of lawyers to handle everything involved;

-Family Law Attorney/Dependency Attorney

-Criminal Lawyer/Identity Theft/MMJ Attorney

-Bankruptcy/Tax

-Personal Injury Attorney

-Civil Rights Attorney

-Civil Attorney

-ADA Attorney

– See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606#sthash.L1tvj4hc.dpuf

 

 

 

Holler out to FRIENDS and FAMILY~ EVERYONE;
For ALL of you that didn’t know… I am going on trial in less than 2 weeks. On May 1st, I face the judge on the charges against me. I pray that justice will prevail. I have done everything I could think of within my power, to bring the truth to light. I still don’t have the means to afford the attorneys needed to clear my name and bring my kids home.
I am letting you all know because I refuse to let this be. I am INNOCENT!
I may be gone soon and these post, over the next week may be my only voice left. PLEASE let my story be known.
*Take a moment to check this out; if you can… Everything helps
ATTORNEY’s ARE NEEDED!
Click on the Help and donation sites for case information and updates that includes photo evidence.
http://fnd.us/c/ejlN4/sh/5eoIf
NBC kvoa link to story of my Identity theft and the Severity of it.
http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/
This is NOT A SCAM! I am desperate…
PLEASE Help save my children & clear name.
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606
Thanks and Love, Karen Ross-Glaser Photography
http://www.gofundme.com/7zvo4o

PLEASE Help Karen save her children & clear name!

Kids taken CPS custody, Identity stolen & accused of being a substance abuser of Medical marijuana while being a legal card holder in AZ. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated. PLEASE share to everyone you know.Thanks in advance. My name is Karen …

fundrazr.com