Veteran’s Day Patient Spotlight
Happy Veteran’s Day to all the brave, selfless Veterans who have sacrificed in many ways to help protect our country! Vireo is proud to have many Vets in our workforce and to serve many Vets as patients in our dispensaries.
Our Vets belong to a special class of people – those who served their country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. This Veteran’s Day—and every day—we urge you to keep this in mind by supporting and thanking the Veterans in your life!
Veterans face a unique set of challenges when they return from their service and some have difficulties reintegrating back into society. In addition to the injuries and wounds servicemen and servicewomen sustain in combat, a high percentage of veterans are living with disorders such as PTSD.
PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States, it is hardly unique to veterans, affecting some 7% – 8% of the general population at any one time. However, Veterans are much more likely to be diagnosed with it – according to some studies, as many as 20 – 30% of veterans may have PTSD. Symptoms can range from anxiety and insomnia to debilitating hyper-vigilance, and even more severe behaviors.
A number of studies have examined cannabis’ role in treating PTSD, and whether it’s short-term relief from severe symptoms of PTSD or reducing the severe depression and suicidal ideation often associated with PTSD, the results are fairly conclusive. Used under careful medical supervision, cannabis has the potential to help address the symptoms of PTSD and dramatically improve veterans’ quality of life.
We recently spoke with “AV” a medical cannabis patient in Scranton, PA to discuss her experiences as both a Veteran herself and the daughter of Veterans! AV uses medical cannabis to help treat symptoms like anxiety.
Hi AV! Tell us, what branch of the armed forces did you serve, where were you deployed, and what was your rank?
I was in the United States Navy for eight years. I am a Gunner Second Class (E-5). I was deployed twice to the Persian Gulf.
Tell us a little about your experience in the military?
My first job in the Navy was driving the aircraft carrier CVN-72. This was the coolest most intense thing I had ever done at that point in my life. I eventually became a Weapons Instructor and a Naval Military Training Instructor.
How did your service help prepare you for your current career?
The Navy taught me to have Honor, Courage and Commitment, in all that I do. I live my life knowing that fear is only temporary and that I can do anything I put my mind to. It gave me an inner strength to help fight for people who cannot fight for themselves. I want to serve my community and advocate for those who do not normally have a voice.
What does Veteran’s Day mean to you?
I am a daughter of Army Veterans, so it is important to my family to honor Black Veterans, who have not been historically treated as well, but have fought in every war for this country. It is important to remember that the Black Lives Matter movement includes protecting and getting justice for the many Black Veterans who have been killed by police. There have even been active duty service members killed by police. This has made Veteran’s Day even more important to me and my family in recent years.
Why did you choose medical cannabis?
I felt like nothing was making me feel better and helping my symptoms. The VA just kept upping my dosages for depression and anxiety medications, but I was not feeling any better. I was open to try anything and I felt like cannabis was the right answer for me.
What are your thoughts on vet and service members having access to medical cannabis?
Veterans should have access to medical cannabis without the threat of not being able to own and/or carry firearms. Medical cannabis should be an option for patients with any mental health or pain management treatment plan.
How has your experience at Green Goods Scranton been so far?
The team at Green Goods Scranton has been very helpful and kind to me. I love being able to order online and to know when my order is ready for pick up and during COVID-19 did not even have to go inside the dispensary.
Thank you to AV for your service to our country and speaking with us about Veteran’s Day.
We also want to say thank you to all Veterans on this most important day! Through Friday, 11/13/20, Vireo and Green Goods Dispensaries are offering 22% off all products for Vets with ID cards.