Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The debate on the VA’s habit of prescribing drugs to veterans dealing with severe PTSD symptoms and providing treatment or hospitalization as an after-thought has been raging for quite some time. Clay Hunt’s mother, Susan Selke, tells poignantly that it is her opinion the VA’s decision to heavily medicate her son’s severe PTSD symptoms and failure to give him treatment and therapy were big factors in his suicide in 2011. (The Clay Hunt Veterans Suicide Prevention Act is the culmination of a large amount of advocacy done on this issue). For more on Clay’s story see here: http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/10/mother-of-vet-who-committed-suicide-va-didnt-give-him-the-care-he-needed/
Yet another report of a veteran in need of help and sent away with medication is in the news. This veteran, Richard Miles, went into the VA Medical Center in Des Moines to seek help for PTSD that was spiraling out of control. The VA gave Miles medication and sent him out the door. He was found days later, frozen to death with an excess of sleeping pills in his system. Calls for revamping the VA’s response to veterans in crisis is again underway. New legislation is already being proposed. Until we as a nation, and the VA specifically, can get a handle on the treatment of veterans with severe PTSD symptoms with more beds for in-patient treatment, faster appointment times for individual therapy, loosened standards for access to the VA Medical Centers, and less dispensing of drugs without monitoring the effects, we will sadly see more of these cases in the news. It is a criminal epidemic.
For more on Richard Miles see here: http://whotv.com/2015/03/23/veterans-gather-to-honor-richard-miles-and-call-for-change/ and http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/20/veteran-freezes-to-death-after-veterans-affairs-hospital-turns-him-away/