- D.H. Reilly
How Can Indiana Residents Get Medical Marijuana for PTSD?
While we still don’t know exactly when you’ll be able to get an Indiana Marijuana Card—or what the state’s medical marijuana law will contain—we do know what other states’ laws have been like and the conditions they’ve accepted.
One of the most common conditions recognized by medical marijuana laws in the thirty-six states that have them is PTSD, and for good reason. PTSD is a common, often debilitating condition that is difficult to treat with traditional pharmaceuticals. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for PTSD, which is why we’re hoping the state will include PTSD as a qualifying condition in whatever medical marijuana law we finally get.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a form of anxiety that is initially triggered by a traumatic event. For years after the initial event, PTSD sufferers may experience symptoms that are wide-ranging and individualized; no two PTSD sufferers will have the exact same symptoms or experience them in the exact same way.
The most commonly experienced symptoms include intense phobias, blackouts, insomnia, hallucinations, and difficulty focusing and concentrating. In the most extreme cases, patients may even experience violent or suicidal urges.
Isn’t PTSD a Veterans’ Issue?
While PTSD is often associated with veterans, and veterans do experience PTSD at higher rates than the general population, anyone who has suffered a trauma could potentially develop PTSD.
Fortunately, due to the place of honor that is most often afforded veterans and military personnel, people often find veterans’ stories and testimonies about PTSD particularly important and moving. As a result, veteran support has been instrumental in passing medical marijuana laws nationwide. And that’s good news, especially when one considers just how many Americans suffer or will suffer with PTSD.
Millions of Americans Suffer from PTSD
According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 6% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. That’s approximately 21 million Americans who will suffer from a potentially debilitating condition.
Fortunately for most of those Americans, they live in states where medical marijuana is an option, because it has been shown to be the best treatment option in most cases.
Why Do PTSD Patients Need Medical Marijuana? What’s Wrong with the Medications They Have?
Yes, there are several traditional pharmaceutical treatment options for PTSD patients, but they aren’t consistently effective and are associated with a number of negative side effects.
PTSD is a mental health problem, but it can also result in physical issues, and no traditional PTSD treatments address both the psychological and physical symptoms of the condition. Consequently, patients must often adhere to a cocktail of prescription medications, and those medications often cause significant and intolerable side effects, such as diminished sex drive and liver complications.
And as traditional PTSD medications are often ineffective, patients commonly endure these negative side effects while getting little benefit in return.
Medical Marijuana Treats Both Mental and Physical Symptoms of PTSD
Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, medical marijuana has been shown to treat both kinds of PTSD symptoms. Doctors believe this is because there are receptors throughout the brain and body that interact with cannabis, allowing it to treat patients both mentally and physically.
PTSD symptoms that medical marijuana has been shown to treat include anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep disorders, difficulty focusing, hallucinations and more.
Consequently, patients who treat their PTSD with medical marijuana usually need to take fewer pharmaceutical medications. And not only is taking fewer medications more convenient for PTSD patients, but it means less reliance on more dangerous drugs.
For example, medical marijuana patients are less likely to use opioids for pain relief, and it was the overuse of those medications that led to the opioid crisis. Americans’ overuse of opioids has been such a serious issue that the CDC has labeled it an epidemic. Similarly, patients who use medical marijuana are less likely to self-medicate by abusing alcohol and other drugs.
Being Able to Treat PTSD with Medical Marijuana would be Good for Indiana
While we can’t know for sure how many Indiana residents suffer from PTSD, if the VA’s national estimate of 6% holds true here, there are more than 400,000 PTSD cases here.
That’s hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers suffering with a condition they can only treat using ineffective pharmaceuticals that come with significant side effects. And that’s hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers who are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in search of relief.
While we’re sure medical marijuana will eventually make its way here, there’s no way to know when that will be, or what the law will look like when it does. What we do know, however, is that the more political pressure our lawmakers feel to get with the times and end the outright prohibition on cannabis, the sooner that day will arrive. And the more pressure they feel to include PTSD as a qualifying condition, the more likely they are to do so.
So if you’re one of the millions of Indiana residents suffering from PTSD or any of the other qualifying conditions that are commonly included in medical marijuana laws, why not take action to get relief sooner? And if you’d just like to do your part to protect the health and welfare of your fellow Hoosiers while also helping the economy of your country and state, why not speak up?
Contact your state legislators, and let them know you support medical marijuana in general and for the treatment of PTSD specifically.
Could Medical Marijuana Benefit You?
While you still have to wait for medical marijuana to come to Indiana, you don’t have to wait a day longer to get ready for it!
Reserve an evaluation with a medical marijuana doctor online today, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as Indiana’s medical marijuana market is up and running. Not only will you meet with your new doctor from the comfort of your own home via a telemedicine appointment using your smartphone or computer, but you’ll save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
We’re dedicated to helping all people safely and conveniently find relief and wellness through access to medical marijuana. By focusing on education and inclusion, we hope to reduce the stigma surrounding cannabis and those who want to use it to enhance their health.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-7755, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation today!