Wednesday, October 06, 2004

PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse

The Israelis (as usual) are ahead of the game. They plan to soothe trauma with marijuana. This has been a hot topic with me for several years.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers traumatised by battle with the Palestinians have a new, unconventional weapon to exorcise their nightmares -- marijuana.

Under an experimental programme, Delta-9 tetrohydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient found in the cannabis plant, will be administered to 15 soldiers over the next several months in an effort to fight post-traumatic stress disorder.

Raphael Mechoulam of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, the chief researcher behind a project he described as a world-first, said the chemical could trick the brain into suppressing unwanted memories.
Mr. Mechoulam wants you to know that you are not to confuse pills given to you by a doctor with that evil weed smoked by undesirables. Right.

Meanwhile I have come across this interesting .pdf published in 1996 about the relationship of PTSD to chronic drug and alcohol use. They can even predict from the type of PTSD whether drugs or alcohol will be preferred by the patient. I'm going to have to look into that.


Ilona Meagher said...

Not sure if you saw this just-released report by the American Journal of Psychiatry:

Trauma, PTSD, and Substance Use Disorders: Findings From the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being
Katherine L. Mills, B.Hlth.Sc., Maree Teesson, Ph.D., Joanne Ross, Ph.D. and Lorna Peters, Ph.D.

Find the abstract here; the full article is subscription-only, but may be purchased individually as well.

Great info, Simon.

Anonymous said...

My husband has PTSD and has just begun adding alcohol to his already self medicating "remedies". This was great info. Thanks...