CANNAHEALTH The Opioid Epidemic - Page 38


on the front lines

with a

cannabis nurse

Have you ever been in the presence of someone having a severe flashback to a war that was fought over forty years ago? Let me paint a picture for you. I’m visiting a patient because he has had a really bad week and may need to be admitted to hospital if his mental status doesn’t improve soon. My patient is a very big guy at about six feet, four inches tall. He weighs well over two hundred fifty pounds. He is cowering in fear of being shot at in a far away jungle. The issue is that the jungle is in his head. To keep himself “safe” he is currently hiding behind a couch that he’s moved to the center of his living room. His wife has witnessed episodes like this too often in their long marriage. Tears stream down her face as she tries to wash the dishes. As if everything that’s happening in this moment is normal. As if washing the dishes makes everything happening in this moment normal.

“He’ll be fine in a few minutes,” she manages to squeak out, “he usually comes to when he realizes he’s behind our furniture. I’m not sure what triggered him today. It doesn’t take much. This is the third or fourth time he’s ended up having a flashback in the last couple days.”