Marijuana becomes medicine for wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Photo/BBC
KYIV – In a modest apartment in Kyiv, off-duty soldiers meet to smoke weed and momentarily forget the things they’ve seen.
They did not want to be identified. Drugs are frowned upon in the military, even here, far from the front lines.
One of the soldiers is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“For me, marijuana is useful,” he said, as reported by the BBC. “Without it, I can’t sleep. It helps me relax. Everyone should be able to get it.”
After 18 months of full-scale war, and eight years of simmering conflict before that, the physical and psychological wounds in Ukraine run deep. The country’s resources have reached their limits.
The war has sparked an epidemic of pain and trauma, both among soldiers and civilians.
Last year, the Ministry of Health estimated that 57% of Ukrainians were at risk of PTSD.
But marijuana, which is widely accessible on the streets and decriminalized in small amounts for personal use, is still not available for medical research, despite evidence that it can help.
At the Forest Glade Veterans’ Psychological Health and Rehabilitation Center, outside Kyiv, treatment takes various forms.
In one room, a soldier plays video games while a doctor monitors his brain activity.