Military personnel face unimaginable hardships to protect this country while on active duty, but sometimes returning home from service is just as difficult. As many as 20% of veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many others face other mental and physical problems due to their time in service. This makes it difficult for veterans to assimilate back into civilian life, and this is why organizations like Pets for Vets find it so important to care for veterans and thank them for all they've done. Studies have shown animals have the ability to improve mental and physical health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, which are symptoms many veterans face. Pets for Vets recognize this potential, and by providing shelter dogs and companion animals to veterans they hope to treat the emotional wounds caused by the time spent overseas.
When veterans return from service, many are prescribed pharmaceutical pain killers to combat PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, chronic pain, and more. Cannabis has the potential to reduce the use of opioid based medications, thereby reducing the medication's negative side effects and decreasing the rate of addiction and fatal overdoses. Clinical studies have shown medical cannabis is not only effective in the treatment of chronic pain, but that it is also a safe therapeutic alternative. While there is still a vast need for clinical research, investigators have found the endocannabinoid system is integrally related to memory extinction, which is a normal and healthy process of removing associations from stimuli. Many veterans who suffer from PTSD respond to stimuli that remind them of a specific trauma, even when it is no longer appropriate to do so. This suggests cannabis, which is able to interact with the endocannabionid system, can aid memory extinction and disconnect stimuli from their past traumatic events.
The power of an animal's companionship combined with the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid therapy may help veterans significantly reduce their use of pharmaceutical medications so they can live a healthier and happier lifestyle. We thank Pets for Vets for all they've done for our military veterans, and we are excited to see what's to come from this exceptional organization. Want to learn more about Pets for Vets? Visit their website here.