AFTER WAR: Battling Suicide, Depression, Injuries and Illness Without Dangerous Drugs from VA/DoD

Pill Pushers at VA/DoD Meet Their Match With Ancient Healing Methods

by TMSR (www.themilitarysuicidereport.wordpress.com)
Dec. 29, 2014

Thousands of service members and veterans continue to die each year resulting from toxic-drug overdose on prescription pills vigorously pushed by VA/DoD doctors.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the VA, in excess of 100,000 veterans have died from suicide since 9/11.

That devastating figure does not include deaths disguised as “accidental overdoses” from powerful opioids, and other dangerous drugs so commonly prescribed to those injured during military service and struggling with chronic pain.

When toxic-drug overdose and vehicle crashes while drugged up on prescription medications are factored in, the number of deaths likely doubles, perhaps even triples. To date, VA/DoD refuses to release the true number of deaths resulting from these “accidental” deaths caused by the drugs they prescribe.

The link below contains an amazing and informative lecture introducing the topic of ancient medicine and traditional healing methods that date back thousands of generations. This therapy is commonly known as “TCM'” Traditional Chinese Medicine, or “CAM” therapy, Complementary Alternative Medicine.

Watch the lecture here:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9EkwukyMV9o

TCM and CAM offer a much safer alternative to the dangerous drug cocktails now wildly popular among VA/DoD doctors as the quickest, easiest, and most profitable way in treating sick and injured veterans after military service. The most dangerous drug combo frequently prescribed today by these doctors consists of the following “standard issue” cocktail:

SSRIs (Zoloft) to treat depression
benzodiazepines (Klonapin) to treat anxiety
Zolpidem (Ambien) and Eszopicione (Lunesta) to treat insomnia
Tetracyclic (Trazadone) to treat insomnia/depression
Antipsychotics (Resperdal & Seroquel) to treat PTSD
Opioids (OxyContin & Morphine) to treat chronic pain

Most of these prescription drugs already carry FDA’s most serious warning of side effects, known as the “BLACK BOX” warning, often alerting the patient of possible suicidal ideation when taking them.

What makes these drugs far deadlier than the suicidal behavior side effect is that veterans suffering from the typical serious injuries seen in the military today — PTSD, depression, mTBI, burns, and orthopedic (amputations) — have been shown in VA/DoD surveys to self-report as frequent binge drinkers at rates exceeding 50 percent. That figure is far higher in those having participated in combat abroad.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a row. Using alcohol while taking these prescribed drugs is extremely toxic, especially during binge drinking sessions, where many veterans or service members say they will easily drink a case of beer or a liter of whiskey in one sitting.

The lecturer, Beverly Burns MS LAc, specializes in acupuncture, but reveals through her experiences practicing various forms of TCM and CAM therapy just how safe and effective these ancient medical practices are in treating any illness or injury … even cancer.

Many techniques involved with TCM and CAM are natural, and cost little to nothing for the patient. Medicinal herbs and physical therapies such as breathing exercises or Tai Chi are frequently prescribed in TCM and CAM. Patients participating in TCM or CAM treatment programs can easily grow their own herbs, harvest them in nature for free, or practice the exercises at home on their own, or in a community group.

VA/DoD has resisted adding such treatment protocols to their medical programs due to the financial component; it is often free, and requires little follow-up care once the patient learns the prescribed therapies. The agencies and pharmaceutical companies that supply the drugs would lose billions in profits from prescribing and selling their dangerous drugs to VA/DoD for the service members and veterans.

Many veterans elect suicide over treatment at VA/DoD facilities due to the long wait times or poor access to specialized medicine. The VA’s shameful scandals through the years has proven how inefficient and untrustworthy VA/DoD providers have been. At least 40 veterans under the care of VA doctors in Phoenix Arizona died waiting months or even years for care.

TCM and CAM therapies are widely available outside VA/DoD facilities and affordable for most veterans. Although practitioners of TCM and CAM are sometimes scarce in rural areas, the ancient healing technique is rapidly growing in America and other Westernized medical communities.

The healing methods have survived thousands of generations and are making a comeback in societies that have long frowned upon these treatment philosophies and methods.

Veterans and service members have reported very positive healing results from attaining on their own TCM and CAM, even as VA/DoD have proven reluctant to embrace fully TCM and CAM at their medical treatment facilities.

Veterans are increasingly turning to TCM and CAM resources readily available outside of VA/DoD, with excellent results in the majority of patients.

Perhaps someday, TCM and CAM will become the treatment of choice at VA/DoD medical facilities, but that seems highly unlikely given the culture of scandal and misconduct within the VA/DoD.

(This article may be reprinted for editorial purposes without permission with the following mandatory byline: “by TMSR (www.themilitarysuicidereport.wordpress.com)”.

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FRUSTRATED TO DEATH: For Many, Access to VA Benefits Can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death

Veteran Douglas Briggs throws up his arms in frustration May 21, 2012 during a town hall meeting between veterans and the VA as he makes his feelings known about VA failures to provide benefits to injured veterans. Next to him, trying to calm the noisy crowd of vets is VA Regional Director Willie Clark. Veterans in N. California, many recently home from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffering from PTSD/TBI, must wait an average of 320 days for the VA to grant benefits claims; meanwhile, 18 veterans per day commit suicide. (Don Bartletti)

Angry Veterans Demand End to Backlog of Disability Claims

by Maria La Ganga
Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — Horatius A. Carney spent seven weeks in a military hospital after injuring his knee while in the segregated Army Air Forces. He first filed a disability claim in 1947. He is still waiting for a response.

Lisa Scott, an Army communications specialist who served in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, waited seven years for the Veterans Benefits Administration to approve her disability claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Ari Sonnenberg served three tours in Iraq and came home with a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and internal injuries. “Haunting memories of the horrors of war” drove him to attempt suicide, he said, and he called the office of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) for help navigating the veterans benefits system.

On Monday, Sonnenberg left the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs hospital so that he could testify during a heart-wrenching forum attended by more than 200 veterans seeking to expedite stalled and bungled disability claims. For more than three hours they vented about a system that they said actually makes their lives worse.

The main target of the frustrated, often tearful, men and women was the Oakland office of the Department of Veterans Affairs — which serves an area from Kern County north to the Oregon border; it has the second-largest case backlog of any regional office in the country, behind Seattle.

“I’d like to use this opportunity to express to the VA benefits section how the unnecessary delay and loss of documents and mishandling of information caused added stress and anxiety to my already difficult life,” Sonnenberg, pale and shaking, told the packed hearing room. If not for Speier, “I would still be floating around the system.”

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-oakland-veterans-20120522,0,3974777.story

Besieged Oakland VA to Face State Congressional Delegation in May as Claims Backlog Soars Past 900,000

VA Faces Two Crises: Mental Health and Disability Claims

by Paul Sullivan
The Bay Citizen, May 1, 2012

An extensive news investigation by Bay Citizen reporter Aaron Glantz delved into the serious problems facing our Veterans seeking disability benefits in northern California. At the law firm of Bergmann & Moore, every day we hear from Veterans complaining about unreasonable delays and denials by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Mike Grabski, former soldier has been waiting for VA to process his disability claim since December of 2009. In Oakland, more than 35,000 Veterans are waiting an average of nearly 11 months for a claim decision.


The reality on the ground shows VA faces two major crises.

First, an internal VA audit released last week revealed a staggering 51 percent of Veterans waited more than 14 days for a mental health evaluation. VA’s delays have dire consequences: 18 Veterans commit suicide every day. VA had misled Congress, reporting only five percent of Veterans waited longer than 14 days. 

An April 25, 2011, editorial in The New York Times highlighted how VA doesn’t get it when it comes to providing prompt and high-quality mental healthcare to our Veterans.

VA’s second significant crisis is an inventory of more than 900,000 pending disability compensation cases nationwide. Veterans now wait an average of seven months for an initial VA claim decision. In Oakland, more than 35,000 Veterans are waiting an average of nearly 11 months for a claim decision. That’s seven months longer than VA’s goal of four months.
 
Even worse, VA takes an average of five years to process an additional inventory of more than 250,000 appealed disability cases sitting in Washington, DC. Fixing VA is vital because Veterans need approved disability claims to pay rent and feed their families. An approved claim often opens the door to urgently needed free VA medical care. Nationwide, more than 1.1 million Veterans and their families are waiting on a besieged VA.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.baycitizen.org/blogs/citizen/va-faces-two-crises-mental-health-and/