Doctors and medical professionals at the Veterans Affairs are handing out dangerous “tranquilizers” such as Xanax and Valium to military service members diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
They have been repeatedly advised not to do so because of the potential the drugs could cause more harm than good. According to a report in NextGov.com, the VA is prescribing tranquilizers to more than 30 percent of veterans with PTSD, though clinical practice guidelines issued in 2010 by the VA’s own National Center for PTSD, among others, has warned against it.
Under the guidelines, which also apply to the Department of Defense, warned providers against using benzodiazepine, which is a “tranquilizer”, to manage the condition because of “the lack of efficacy data and growing evidence for the potential risk of harm,” the center said in the March edition of quarterly research publication.
Let’s addict them, then take the “Tranquilizers” away and see what happens.
Data indicate that treatment of PTSD with Tranquilizers “may interfere with the extinction of fear conditioning or potentiate the acquisition of fear responses, actually worsening recovery from trauma,” the center said. That could interfere with “first-line” treatment like exposure therapy, in which trained personnel help veterans relive traumatic events so they can learn to effectively handle them.
The center noted that more than half of all combat vets diagnosed with PTSD also suffer from substance abuse and alcoholism, adding that treatment with “tranquilizers” can very often lead to addiction.
Military figures indicate the number of vets with PTSD that are being treated by the VA nearly tripled from 171,000 in 1999 to 498,000 a decade later, as troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan entered the VA’s oft-marginal healthcare system.
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