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PTSD and Cannabis-Related Coping Among Recent Veterans in New York City (2015)

Interviews with vets of recent conflicts about their use of cannabis to cope with ptsd

  1. Calliope
    Contemporary Drug Problems 2015, Vol. 42(1) 60-76

    Luther Elliott, Andrew Golub, Alexander Bennett, and Honoria Guarino

    Abstract
    This article presents interview and focus group data from veterans of recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan about their use of cannabis as a coping tool for dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder. Veterans’ comparisons of cannabis, alcohol, and psychopharmaceuticals tended to highlight advantages to cannabis use as more effective and less complicated by side effects. Some participants suggested that cannabis can be part of an approach-based coping strategy that aids with introspection and direct confrontation of the sources of personal trauma. Others, however, held that cannabis use was part of a less productive, avoidant coping strategy. Some self-reports suggested the need for more nuanced theorizations of coping behaviors, as they indicated motivations for use that weregroundedinsymptom alleviation rather than any direct confrontation with(or avoidanceof) sources of trauma.