Category Archives: Mental Health

Drug-Free PTSD Therapy

Solving the problem of PTSD

In today’s military when soldiers return home from the battlefield around 18.5% or 300,000 of them are diagnosed with PTSD and or major depression disorder.

PTSD is described as, “an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as survivor guilt, reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images.”

Major depressive disorder is characterized by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most situations. The different programs available for veterans returning home with disorders like these are sometimes hard to navigate and are quick to prescribe a pill, some marijuana, or other drugs in order to combat the side-effects.

But, after attending a screening for the movie, Thank You For Your Service directed by Tom Donahue we quickly learned that these were not the only options available for our veterans. There are  many prescription free treatments that have been proven to work time and time again for veterans everywhere.

Drug-Free PTSD Therapy

Programs can range from equine therapy to  team building challenges lead by former veterans themselves. One such program is called, Save a Warrior, which consists of historic rituals, ceremonies, personal instruction, story telling, and other daily practices which help the veterans establish a sense of being present and alive, away from their thoughts and feelings.

One positive thing about these treatment programs is that they are locally owned which means no medications, no pills,  and no drugs, which helps these men and women heal naturally and at their own speed.

There are a lot of different places that offer PTSD therapy free of charge for veterans and their families suffering from the disorder.

PTSD Equine Therapy

For instance in Leesburg, VA there is a company that offers equine-assisted activities and therapies to military families free of charge, in gratitude for the service that all the military family members provide for our country.

The company is called, “Bridle Paths” and their founder Kathleen Fallon is a PATH certified Advanced Level Therapeutic Riding Instructor with over ten years of experience.

Why horse therapy you may ask? Well, “Horses are prey animals, acutely attuned to their environments and to nonverbal communication, and they live and engage in a herd environment that offers safety and community. Although difficult emotions (such as anxiety, distrust, and perhaps even fear) can arise when working with horses, those emotions can be processed in a safe way, working with the horses and with a trained professional staff.”

EDMR Therapy

Another alternative therapy method that has been making waves in the scientific community is EDMR therapy which stands for: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is, “an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

It is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.” This therapy is said to treat a variety of symptoms including: panic attacks, complicated grief, disturbing memories, phobias, addiction, personality disorders and many others.

This therapy targets the part of the brain that holds onto emotionally scaring or powerful memories that a patient cannot cope with and helps to relax the mind in order for the brain to store the memory accurately to help the person move through the pain on their own accord.

One thing that is particularly neat about this therapy is that the patient does not have to go into specific detail about the traumatic event they are getting help for, they just need to give a generic description of why they came to seek help.

Agricultural PTSD Therapy

Another treatment method that literally goes back to the roots of healing is farming for veterans. This process helps veterans understand what is necessary for them to grow in their own lives while helping the plants grow in the dirt.

By planting each seed by hand it reinforces the life cycle and helps reiterate that people are always there for you helping the veterans grow just like their plants.

Wounded Warrior Project- Bike Rides

The Wounded Warrior Project also does its share for helping our veterans. Each year, they put on multiple events across the country but we found one that has various locations in the U.S. and it’s called, “Ride for the Honored Heroes.

This event is a single day cycling event (bike or motorcycle depending on the place) and 100% of all money raised is donated to helping our men and women in uniform when they arrive back home in the states.

These honor rides are great for building camaraderie among the soldiers-something that is lost upon returning home from deployment. Being around other people who are experiencing similar things can help people to work through what is going on in their own lives better than dealing with it on your own.

Sweat Lodge PTSD Therapy

Lastly in the movie, Thank you for your service, there is a scene where the veterans gather together at an Native American run retreat in order to participate in the ritual of, “Sweat Lodge Therapy” which is exactly what it sounds like.

First, the participants will fast for about a day in order to begin the re birthing process, then they will walk to the hut or tent where the ritual will be performed.

Stones are heated in a fire and then placed on the floor where participants will then enter the tent and the door will remain closed except for the four times that it is opened during the ceremony in order for the fresh air to rejuvenate the members.

sweat lodge, therapy, PTSD, trauma, alternative medicine, CAM, Drug-Free PTSD Therapy

This ceremony is meant to  re-birth the spirit by first cleansing them of food and then second, having them sweat out the different toxins that might already be in their system washing away the different things that are carried with them on a day to day basis.

This ritual has been performed for hundreds of years and it has been one of the more effective methods for Complementary alternative medicine (CAM).

Different CAM therapies can be found here.

For further information about equine-assisted activities and therapies in their communities, veterans and service members can contact the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Intl. at, and the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) at

Marijuana, Mental Illness and Murder

By Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign (

 Sachs’s Trial Involves Another Murderer Linked to Marijuana

Pro-pot people like to say “nobody dies of marijuana.”   They are referring to overdose, of course, but overdose isn’t the only cause of death, nor the only adverse outcome.  Credible scientific research has clearly shown that marijuana is a causal factor in schizophrenia and paranoia, which in many cases has lead to violent acts of murder.  The riveting case of Californian Ashton Sachs in the news this week is a terrifying example.

Sachs was 19 years old, living in a condo his parents bought in Seattle.  Originally he attended college there, but dropped out of school in favor of smoking pot and playing video games. Then one day in February 2014 he drove 18 hours to San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and murdered his parents.  He also shot his younger brother in the head, and tried to kill his 17-year-old sister.  The brother is now paralyzed, and he happened to miss his sister because she hid under the sheets.

Then he flew back to Seattle, and arranged for his car to be shipped. He expressed awe and sorrow when being told about the death of his family members.  He even gave a heart-wrenching speech at the funeral.  Ultimately, he confessed and was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole.   He had a wide smile on his face in court, a symbol of his deranged, sociopathic mind.

How Marijuana Played a Role

Fortunately, not everyone who consumes cannabis goes crazy.  According to Dr. Christine Miller, a neuroscientist formerly with John Hopkins University, somewhere between 12 and 15% of users  will develop psychotic symptoms. (This statistic is for low-strength marijuana, while much marijuana today over 15% THC.)   Of those, about 35% develop full psychosis, of whom half become chronically mentally ill. The life-altering circumstances lead to homelessness, crime, public health expense and incredible pain and suffering for entire families. Too often it leads to suicide as well.

Those who use marijuana during adolescence are 7 times more likely to commit suicide.  (Ashton Sachs had already tried to take his own life twice) Heavy users of high-strength marijuana are 5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia at some point in their lives, often earlier rather than later.

In most cases of mass murders in recent history (Cascade Mall shooter, Tucson, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Boston Bombers, Orlando, etc), the murderer was a heavy pot user.  While correlation doesn’t equal causation, there are too many cases involving marijuana to deny marijuana’s impact on the brain as a factor.   It is not like these people were known for their heavy indulgence in sugar, milk or chocolate.

Read a previous article on the subject.

California State Legislature Ignores Brain Health

Governor Now Has Opportunity to Speak up for Youth Brain Health

A group of six parents who spoke at a Moms Strong rally in Sacramento highlighted the egregious ways marijuana harms young brains. Their exposés shed light on how costly it has been to freely give out medical marijuana to 18-year-olds whose brains are still under development. The state legislature had a chance but failed to raise the age for smoking and ingesting medical marijuana to 21. Gov. Jerry Brown now has the opportunity to speak out once again against marijuana legalization, citing a need for taking brain health seriously.

Smoking cigarettes takes off from the end of life while using marijuana increases the risk of mental impairment in early life and increases the risk for suicide by 7x.  A poster at the rally showed photos of seven people who died from suicide following psychotic breaks after ingesting or smoking marijuana.

NAMI and Science Provide the Facts

National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) states that marijuana is the substance of abuse recognized for a relationship to schizophrenia.  NAMI’s webpage for schizophrenia states:  “A growing body of evidence indicates that smoking marijuana increases the risk of psychotic incidents and the risk of ongoing psychotic experiences. The younger and more frequent the use, the greater the risk. Another study has found that smoking marijuana led to earlier onset of schizophrenia and often preceded the manifestation of the illness.”

Dr. Christine Miller, a neurologist who has studied schizophrenia for 25 years,  spoke several times at the rally.  She maintains that there is no amount of marijuana that can be safely used and no way to detect who will be harmed.   Her handout from the rally cites numerous longitudinal studies from around the world.

State Legislature Sends Wrong Signals

In California, anyone aged 18 or over can find a doctor to give a recommendation for medical marijuana without reason. Given the strength of today’s marijuana, numerous  young people have gone into psychosis and have needed extensive mental health treatment, as well as addiction treatment.  A hospital in Washington state has one to two new psychosis patients every day, as a result of dabbing and the younger age of marijuana usage.

California does not track medical marijuana users for psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, suicide or other negative mental health outcomes.  In fact, the United States and individual states do not have tracking systems for psychosis and schizophrenia.

Canada and the American Society of Addiction Medicine insist that the age limit for “medical” marijuana should be 25 or over, after the brain has fully developed.  The State legislature should consider health in early adulthood–when one is completing their education and getting that very first job — as important as end-of-life issues.

Tobacco Cigarettes Versus Marijuana Smoke or Edibles

When California raised the age for buying cigarettes to age 21, Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana (CALM) vigorously lobbied the state legislature and the governor to include “medical” marijuana (excluding CBD for seizures or for terminal cancer).  It would have been logical to include another smoked product.

When the state banned vape pens and e-cigarettes for those under 21, it excluded medical marijuana.  “If California gets a national reputation as being a little bit kooky, sometimes we have only ourselves to blame,”  read an article in LA Weekly explaining the new law.  It means there is no limit on teenagers vaping marijuana, including concentrated pot products like hash oil, wax and dabs.

Our lungs develop until age 18.  When the age limit for buying tobacco products was set at 18, medical research had shown that lung damage could be mitigated by waiting until the lungs had fully developed before starting to smoke.

Our brains continue to develop until age 25, perhaps until age 28 or 29 for males.  Therefore, a person who begins smoking or ingesting marijuana after age 25 experiences less brain damage and fewer negative consequences than those who begin below age 25.  (While tobacco smoke has its greater influence on the health of our lungs, the THC of marijuana has the more influence on our brains than any other organ.)

Tom Steyer is Silent

Tom Steyer

Billionaire political donor Tom Steyer is currently running a TV advertisement in favor of raising the tax on cigarettes by $2, but remains silent about the environmental damage of marijuana and Proposition 64.    Considering that he is an environmental activist and cares about lungs, his silence is on Proposition 64 is perplexing.  It is completely fine to be against BIG TOBACCO, but it is not progressive enough to be against BIG MARIJUANA.   The Dark Money behind Proposition 64 comes from George Soros, and from Silicon Valley billionaires.  People give BIG MARIJUANA a pass because this greedy industry is promoting itself as quite glamorous.

Here’s news for Mr. Steyer and others: Big tobacco is investing in marijuana.   However, Joe Camel is no longer cool or popular but marijuana is hyped as the next big investment.

When California allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana, there are no specifications for dosages. There’s no record-keeping.  It can be given over the phone without even seeing the doctor, with a minimal fee.

CALM and Moms Strong, a coalition of drug prevention activists and those who have lost family members to marijuana abuse, demonstrated in front of the capitol on October 4, 2016.  In a rousing series  of speeches which ended when legislature member Jim Cooper arrived at 1:30, the activists told how their lives had been influenced and changed by marijuana.  Jim Cooper is the Assistant Majority Leader in the state legislature and his district includes Sacramento.  Maybe he can spread his knowledge to other legislature members.

(Editor’s Note: The parents’ speeches were the core of the rally, but other talks were given by Bishop Ron Allen and other members of CALM, as well as prevention activists and visitors from Colorado)

Schizophrenia, Psychosis are Marijuana Side Effects

Mind-altering drugs can affect the brain permanently, causing mental illness. Scientists have proven that marijuana can trigger schizophrenia,  psychosis.

Canadian Mental Illness Experts Warn of Cannabis-Psychosis Link

The worst of the mental issues that can result from pot use are schizophrenia, psychosis. Scientists and addiction specialists are aware of marijuana as a trigger for mood disorders. The general public is by and large ignorant on this subject.

People experiencing psychosis can have breaks with reality. The can experience hallucinations. They can even become violent. Read a definition of psychosis on the Healthline website. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to be similar according to Healthline. Yet, it seems that it is a chronic condition rather than temporary.

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada has on online campaign to educate the public about the connection between marijuana use and psychosis called Cannabis and Psychosis.

See the Schizophrenia, Psychosis Video

Schizophrenia Society of Canada // Cannabis & Psychosis from Giant Ant on Vimeo.

While the Pot Lobby wants the public to consider marijuana a safer alternative to other addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol, the medical experts warn otherwise. See this excellent article, The Cannabis-Psychosis Link: Mind your Mind.

For more scientific and anecdotal evidence, we highly recommend the website This website was launched by a California mom who lost her son to cannabis withdrawal suicide and a mom in Arizona whose son committed suicide as a result of his losing battle with marijuana addiction.

Parents, educate yourself and warn the young people around you. Marijuana is not a toy, it can destroy. See more StopPot 2016 articles related to marijuana and mental health.