Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Veterans Corner

April 22, 2013

Veterans' Corner

Department of Veterans Affairs doctors are continuing to prescribe tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax to veterans diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, despite VA guidelines advising against their use for the condition.

Almost a third of veterans being treated for PTSD are prescribed benzodiazepines, a class of sedatives commonly used to treat insomnia, anxiety, seizures and other conditions. Researchers found that benzodiazepine prescriptions by VA doctors for PTSD patients declined from 37 percent to 30 percent between 1999 and 2009, but it remained at 30 percent through 2012.

The VA health care system experienced a huge increase in the number of veterans being treated for PTSD, increasing three-fold in 10 years to about a half-million patients in 2009.

Benzodiazepines have been around since the 1960s when they became the sedative of choice and replaced barbiturates which carried a high risk of overdose and abuse. Benzodiazepines have become the preferred PTSD drug treatment because of their usefulness in managing anxiety and insomnia.

The current clinical practice guidelines for managing PTSD, co-authored by the VA and Department of Defense, caution medical providers against using benzodiazepines due to lack of data and growing evidence for the potential risk of harm. Studies, however, have not shown benzodiazepines as effective treatment for what are called the core PTSD symptoms of avoidance, hyper-arousal, numbing and dissociation. In fact, the drugs may impede other effective treatments for PTSD. Mounting evidence suggests that the long-term harms imposed by benzodiazepine use outweigh any short-term symptomatic benefits in patients with PTSD.

Studies that compared the use of a benzodiazepine called "Alprazolam" and a placebo for alleviating PTSD symptoms find that the slight reduction of anxiety was offset by withdrawal symptoms after only five weeks of use.

The use of benzodiazepines is especially problematic in PTSD patients who also have substance abuse disorders or mild traumatic brain injuries. The DOD/VA guidelines especially caution their use with patients suffering from combat-related PTSD because more than half of such patients abuse alcohol or drugs.

Text Only
Veterans Corner
Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to view our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read