It’s no secret: America’s veterans aren’t getting adequate care. Vets have been through the horrors of battle, and have spent their lives defending our country. When they return to civilian life, sadly, the medical and mental health care systems fail them repeatedly. When you’ve been through hell and back on behalf of society, it’s only fair that you get the support you need to properly re-acclimate and rebuild your life.
Nowhere is this failing of our vets more obvious than in looking at the lives of veterans with PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among vets who have seen gruesome battle. PTSD can cause panic attacks, re-traumatization, and seriously impair one’s ability to function in the world. Many people that have PTSD are impacted so greatly that they cannot hold a full- or even part-time job due to this debilitating medical condition, which is recognized by the Americans With Disabilities Act. It’s downright insane how deeply we are failing our vets.
VA doctors are often quick to prescribe or overprescribe medications and other drugs. When taken in certain combinations, these high doses of drugs can interact with one another in a potentially lethal fashion. Regardless of how they are prescribed, many of these drugs are highly addictive and can lead honorable men and women to completely destroy their lives.
Service dogs are more than just a novelty
Drugs aren’t the only way to help people with PTSD. Doctors should be utilizing the many effective options out there to limit—or eliminate—the need for drugs. Emotional support animals and service dogs are excellent options that are woefully underutilized.
- Service dogs are trained to do tasks and specific actions that a disabled person cannot do.
- Emotional support animals accompany people with mental health issues and provide companionship and support.
Both service dogs and emotional support animals can help veterans regain a sense of self after suffering from the fracturing horrors of PTSD, and can also teach them to trust again. Unfortunately, at this time, the VA does not provide a means for vets with PTSD to obtain an emotional support or service dog.
While being matched with a service dog does take time—typically about a year and a half—there are some programs that help veterans specifically obtain a furry companion. Canines for Service is one of the best organizations in the country for connecting veterans with PTSD to emotional support dogs. Hero Dogs is another reputable emotional support animal finding program that also specializes in veteran’s needs.
Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law cares about America’s heroes. As an Annapolis criminal defense attorney, I am firmly committed to ensuring veterans receive the respect and dignity they deserve, even when they have been charged with a crime. The firm can be reached at 410-777-8103, or by filling out this contact form. If you’re a veteran struggling with PTSD who has been charged with a crime, take a deep breath and remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.