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Health/Medical
See other Health/Medical Articles

Title: The Connection between Marijuana Abuse and PTSD
Source: American Addiction Centers
URL Source: https://americanaddictioncenters.or ... ehab/marijuana-abuse-and-ptsd/
Published: Oct 30, 2017
Author: Staff
Post Date: 2017-10-30 15:30:33 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 203

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a type of anxiety disorder triggered by a traumatic experience. Causes of PTSD include:
- Experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, whether as a child or adult
- Surviving a natural disaster, tragic accident, terrorist event, or violence
- Being part of combat, as a soldier or civilian
- Being an emergency responder and working at the site of a disaster
- The sudden death of a loved one

The first month after the traumatic event, symptoms are associated with acute stress disorder (ASD). The person displays three or more symptoms:
- Emotional numbing, detachment, or absence
- Depersonalization
- Derealization
- Reduction in awareness of surroundings, like being in a haze or fog
- Dissociative amnesia

When these symptoms persist or develop after the first month, this is PTSD instead of ASD. People who suffer PTSD may have nightmares, flashbacks to the event, intense mood swings, aggression, anxiety or fear about specific activities, emotional numbing, depression, suicidal thoughts, and avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or places reminiscent of the trauma. They may also show physical symptoms like headaches, stomach pain or cramping, appetite changes, muscle aches, back pain, and more.

Like other anxiety disorders, PTSD is highly correlated with substance abuse. Co- occurrence of these two conditions may begin when a person attempts to self- medicate their panic and stress, or substance abuse could lead to PTSD if the person experiences trauma caused by the substance abuse, like a car accident.


Many people who suffer from PTSD also abuse alcohol and drugs,
particularly central nervous system depressants like marijuana.

Although marijuana is being considered as a potential mental health treatment to ease anxiety in some people who suffer PTSD, the drug may enhance some symptoms associated with PTSD, making the condition worse.

Marijuana’s Effects on the Mind and Emotions

Anyone who abuse marijuana may suffer serious side effects, and the chances of these are increased in those who have PTSD. The drug is a psychedelic substance, and while it does not cause hallucinations, it can alter perception. For people struggling with anxiety, this can lead to a “bad trip.”

Other negative effects from marijuana include:

Click HERE to read the remainder of the article.


Poster Comment:

A comprehensive study conducted by the US Department of Veterans Affairs looked at data from 2,276 representative veterans who suffered from PTSD and used marijuana concurrently. Data from 1991 to 2011 showed that marijuana abuse, especially for a long time, was correlated with increased severity of PTSD symptoms, not alleviation, and the drug was concurrently associated with higher levels of violence and other substance abuse.(1 image)

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