4. Our Veterans Are Self-medicating from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
People use drugs for both pleasure and pain; there is no doubt that much drug use is self-medication. One group that will be dealing with self-medication for a long time is U.S. soldiers returning from war. How does one deal with the pain of having friends die in one’s arms? What does killing other human beings do to one’s emotional stability? What is it like being away from family for a year or more? It’s not hard to imagine how such experiences could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, which in turn can lead to drug addiction, homelessness and even suicide.
It’s easy to demand that everyone “support the troops.” But if we’re going to talk the talk, we had better be ready to offer compassion and treatment to our brothers and sisters who need to heal from the damages of war. And once more people realize that incarceration for petty drug law violations is not an appropriate response to veterans’ suffering from addiction and depression, then hopefully people will question the logic of giving long jail sentences to others in our society who also could be self-medicating for pain and trauma in their own lives.
This statement does not surprise me. All this drug war bullshit got in gear when our ancestors came home from the Civil War and they were addicted to optimum derivatives and cocaine. Wonder what the cause was? If my memory serves me correctly we dealt with the same in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War. Reckon we might be on to something here?