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Washington, D.C. — When LT. Col. Doug Distaso retired from the Air Force at 2017, he abandoned with A laundry list of service-related clinical investigations — chronic pain, a traumatic brain injury and Post-traumatic stress illness — and also a slate of opioids, muscle relaxers as well as other drugs.

He was prescribed to ease his symptoms. The medication cocktail, he says left at a treated stupor. cannabis news His The wife was worried. He felt as though he had been at a dead end.

Distaso’s situation was not unique. Veterans experience chronic pain at rates high above those Of the overall people and in many cases are prescribed opioids to temper their suffering. Rates of Post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans have been at the triple digits, and also an average of 20 Veterans die each day out of suicide.

Across the Nation, people who have chronic pain and emotional health diagnoses — also as a litany Of different states — are turning to medical marijuana being a viable treatment option. More than Three dozen countries have legalized medicinal cannabis, and new marijuana legislation will be Considered by state lawmakers each week.

The health system, obtaining and using medical marijuana is filled with roadblocks, even in States which have legalized recreational or therapeutic use.

Under present VA coverage, VA physicians Cannot prescribe or prescribe medical marijuana to Patients — such as in states where medical marijuana is legal — because of this drug status

The system has just, in the past two years, shifted its regulations to allow physicians to Discuss bud use with patients when veterans request information or when it’s”clinical

Relevance,” though veterans groups say amateurs still often encounter medical practitioners who’re Dismissive or judgemental once the topic is increased.

The section has also lamented the lack of research into the medication but has not conducted Major research on marijuana’s potential benefits for veterans combating common service-related Disorders, mentioning national red tape.

Distaso that lives in Washington, D.C. managed to push himself away from his prescription drug Regime by utilizing medical marijuana he obtained out of the VA health system. On the issue, where he is now the executive director.

One alternative for vets who want access to bud is visiting a doctor outside of the VA Method and footing the bill. But this can be high priced. Distaso says he hears from veterans

Frequently who find it difficult to afford to do so, especially from people on disability for his or her Service-related ailments.

Even for those who can shoulder that price, marijuana use can throw their VA-prescribed Medications into jeopardy. Veterans state that individuals prescribed opioid painkillers are given Semi-routine drug screenings from the VA to search for potentially harmful drug interactions. In case.

(TheVA didn’t respond to requests for comment regarding its drug testing policies.)

Major specialists groups, like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and also Afghanistan Veterans of America, have advocated reform years, asserting that cannabis might help cures chronic pain and mental health disorders at the root of both the opioid Epidemic and the catastrophic suicide rate among veterans. 

Research has discovered that VA Patients die of accidental overdoses — primarily from opioids and cocaine — at almost two the Rate of the general populace.

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