VA Still Using Benzos for PTSD Despite Warnings

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Military.com reports that doctors from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs are continuing to prescribe tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax despite the VA’s guidelines advising against their use in association with post-traumatic stress disorder. “Studies, however, have not shown benzodiazepines as effective treatment for what are called the core PTSD symptoms of avoidance, hyperarousal, numbing and dissociation,” the article states, but many of the veterans taking the medications are “Vietnam War-era vets, who perhaps began taking benzodiazepines years before guidelines were in place.”

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Of further interest:
VA still prescribing tranquilizers to veterans with PTSD, despite warnings (Fox News)
VA prescribing tranquilizers for PTSD despite warnings against (Examiner.com)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]