Carlisle/West Shore

Cumberland County VA encourages vets to explore Rx marijuana for PTSD treatment

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) -- - Isolation can be a veteran's worst enemy. 

"When you deploy, you're given months of tools to teach you to go to war, and there isn't training when you get back," said Amber Endrusick, director of Cumberland County Veterans Affairs. 

As grim as it may seem, Endrusick wants vets to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel -- and sometimes, it's a green one. 

Medical marijuana is now an option to veterans, and Cumberland County VA wants their vets to know their options. 

"I have a lot of PTSD patients -- especially being near the War College, here. So, I've definitely seen where it's helped them sleep. It's really helped with the nightmares. It's helped with anxiety," said Susan Byers, registered pharmacist, RISE Carlisle. 

The first step to getting a medical marijuana card is registering online with the Department of Health. The next step is to find a certified physician to diagnose common qualifying veteran conditions like PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. After that is complete and a card has been issued, it's off to the dispensary. 

"Almost like a pharmacy where you can talk to a professional about exactly what kind of medicine is beneficial for you," said Jackie Parker, community outreach director, Green Thumb Industries. 

"I think there's a misconception that veterans think that if they use medical marijuana, they may no longer be eligible for veteran benefits, which is not true," Byers said. 

Despite how veterans are treated, Cumberland County VA officials said they will continue to support veterans by helping them find the correct treatment option. 

"We want to try to give you the tools that you need to be successful and have a meaningful and happy life, while also being a veteran," Endrusick said. 

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