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article imageCould Medical Marijuana Benefit Fort Hood Trauma Victims?

By Carol Forsloff     Nov 6, 2009 in Health
The recent mass killings at Fort Hood are being described in the media as akin to the stress of war and other violence associated with military life. As professionals seek forms of treatment for trauma survivors, could marijuana be useful?
A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that marijuana can provide relief from the symptoms of PTSD. The research was carried out by Dr. Irit Akirav and research student Eti Ganon-Elazar, working at the Learning and Memory Lab in the University of Haifa’s Department of Psychology and reviewed at Psychology and Mental Health site called Psych Central.
PTSD
is the term used to describe those people, approximately 10 to 30 percent of trauma survivors, who develop a condition where they relive in flashbacks the precipitating stressful event such as a violent attack, a car accident or the type of trauma that can occur after a mass killing rampage where people are wounded and survive physically but continue to have mental health problems. These problems, according to professionals , can last for years.
The researchers tested marijuana on rats to determine how long they would take to recover froma traumatic experience, finding that those given the synthetic form of marijuana recovered faster than those who received nothing. It was found that the marijuana canceled out the symptoms of stress. Dr. Akiay and Ganon-Elazar also observed that the marijuana prevents release of the stress hormone that is released by the body following a stressful event. This indicates, according to their conclusions, that marijuana can play an important part in victim recovery.
While the various states examine the benefits of medical marijuana and as some like Oregon develop public gathering places for patients using the drug, Texas remains one of the states that has no law allowing the use of marijuana for medical treatment, thus denying what some scientists maintain would be of significant benefit in the recovery from the trauma of the Fort Hood massacre.
More about Marijuana, Mass killing, Fort hood
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