PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Newspaper report of August 11th court appearance


Aug. 14, 2009

Not a parking place available at courthouse


There wasn't a parking place to be had Tuesday in Pahrump's courthouse parking lot.

Vehicles were parked across Basin Street as well as in the dirt and gravel in the undeveloped areas around the government complex.

Both justice courts were hearing cases and a civil trial was being held in the newest temporary courtroom. Prospective jurors were also waiting in the lobby.

In Judge Robert Lane's 5th District courtroom, attendees and their families awaiting hearings were crammed shoulder to shoulder in each row while at least a dozen people stood in the aisles toward the back of the room.

The 10 a.m. cases were still being heard after lunch at 1 p.m.

Lakeside shooter

Joseph Patrick Lamoureux, the man who allegedly shot Dep. Eric Murphy during a gunfight at Terrible's Lakeside RV park Sept. 19, 2008, appeared before Lane for his arraignment after several appearances in Justice Court.

During his incarceration, he was sent to Lakes Crossing for evaluation. Lamoureux told Lane he has been treated for a mental disorder and entered a plea of not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

Amended information was not readily available to the court and the arraignment will be continued in September.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

About 3 years ago, there was another deputy shooting here in Pahrump.

The judge mentioned in this report, was the judge that presided over those proceedings.

The attorney who represented the other invidivual charged with shooting a deputy, is the same attorney who is representing Patrick.

The charges against that other individual were nothing close to the magnitude of those against Pat.

Prior to sentencing this individual, Judge Robert Lane explained his reasons for the sentence.

"We do have both general and specific deterrence," Lane said. "We have let people know that we don't tolerate police officers being shot. We don't even tolerate them being shot at, let alone being hit. What you did was a very serious crime and after weighing everything I do believe the appropriate penalty has been set forth."

The individual was sentenced to 36 years in prison. 18 years for shooting the deputy, and 18 years for the deadly weapon enhancement.

I cannot stress to each and every person who is reading this - the importance of being able to cover the fees for every expert witness that Patrick's attorney wants on the legal defense team.

Even if you have never met Pat, remember: He fought for your freedom and your liberties; he fought for the country you live in; he fought for your way of life.

Please, help save his life. Even if you can only scrape five dollars together, please send a check to me or to Patrick's brother Chris. Our addresses are on the side bar to the left.

Helping save this person's life, is the humanitarian thing to do. Joseph Patrick Lamoureux put his life on the line for you and our country.

He is an amazing man, and he deserves the support of every citizen in this country. If you have a heart, please help save his life.

Please, donate.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Veterans, The VA, PTSD, Criminal Justice System, and Anniversaries

(Yes, I will cover all of those topics in one post.....and it won't be that long.)

Monday, August 17, is our anniversary. We didn’t do anything really “special” last year, we had a nice day together, went out to dinner; played our silly “fishy” penny slot machine at the casino. We laughed, we talked; we had a great evening.

I would give everything I own, and everything I could ever hope to own - I would give it all away, to turn back the hands of time.

In the last 11 months, I have been blamed, ridiculed, dragged across coals, and called crazy. As if the tragedy that I experienced that night and what I have lived since Pat came back from Iraq, was nothing.

As I have spent the last 11 months alone, when I think of my loving husband, I try not to remember the times during the past almost 6 years that were upsetting, and difficult to get through; I remember all the happy times we had. Those “tough” days that happened more frequently than I care to remember, do not come into my mind – usually.

In retrospect, there are only a few people who knew how things were. My beautiful daughter, my son-in-law and the other “guy” love of my life, my grandson. He and Patrick have such a special bond, this has been so hard on him.

I do wish I could erase the memory of Thursday, September 18, leading into the early morning hours of Friday, September 19, 2008. Those memories haunt my dreams. And every night when I think that I need to get some sleep, I am acutely aware of what I am sleeping on top of. Every night when I pull the nightshade down above the couch, I have a flashback, caused by the bullet holes in the shade. When I take care of the dump stations outside, I am aware of the damage done to that side of the motorhome.

It is hard to live in the scene of the “crime”.

It is amazing that many people cannot seem to differentiate between a "crime" and a tragedy.

As I look back over the last 11 months, I also can’t help but reflect back over the past almost 6 years since Pat returned from Iraq.

When I think of the information that is contained in Pat’s records, and the fact that the VA did nothing to intervene at a time that could have made a difference in this Veteran’s life, I get angry.

I also get angry at myself for being so “trusting” that the VA was giving him the proper care; that he was being given the right medications; after all, he was a compliant patient. I accepted that this is the way life was going to be, “living with PTSD”.

Nobody has to “blame” me; I have blamed myself enough in the last 11 months.

You can type PTSD on your search engine and learn all about the “symptoms”. I know them all very well, Pat was a walking picture of PTSD. But because he was a compliant patient, I did not realize that it didn’t have to be ‘that way’.

Because he was a compliant patient, I never questioned that it COULD have been better. Now when I research further, I understand the serious shortfall that occurred in Patrick’s care at the hands of the Veterans Healthcare System of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas.

What a tragedy that a wonderful man, someone I waited so long in my life to find, has spent the past 11 months detained in a cell, with an unknown future. For 11 months, he has suffered and has been left alone to deal with everything that has happened; from Iraq to this horrible tragedy.

He has received nothing – no support from trained professionals, and certainly nothing from the VA.

It makes me angry at our country. How can we treat our Veterans this way? He has been tortured, as if he were a ‘prisoner of war’. How, as Americans, can we allow these things to happen to the men and women who serve our country, who protect our freedoms and give us the right to say “I’m proud to be an American”.

I – am not so proud to be an American anymore. The citizens of our country are spoiled and ungrateful. They are so caught up in their own “problems” that they do not have the ability to understand what true problems are; the problems our Veterans are facing. Actually, they don’t care, if it doesn’t touch their lives personally, they simply don’t care – apathy.

I have already done a posting on apathy – and it had nothing to do with ‘contributions’ to Pat’s legal defense fund, but someone took it that way. No – it was about the apathy that Americans are very guilty of.

Our government is failing the men and women who serve this country – and nobody cares.

The truth of the matter is, instead of saying we have volunteer military forces – we should start saying we have disposable military forces. That is what it has become; our government uses them up and when they become broken, they throw them away, as if they were a disposable paper plate. Nothing of value.

And the people of America do not care.

The people of America are quick to judge and condemn our Veterans, when they have never walked one step in those combat boots. They cannot begin to imagine the horrible atrocities of war, the human carnage that our Veterans experience. These Veterans have consciences; what they see, what they do, what they live in combat has a tremendous impact on them.

Perhaps instead of sending career criminals to prison, we should send them to war. Some of them will be killed, and the others can be sent to prison when they return. They earned their keep. We do the same thing with honorable Veterans.

When our combat Veterans appear in the criminal justice system, how are they really tried by a "jury of their peers"? Wouldn't a jury of their peers be a jury of combat veterans? How can the average American civilian judge the actions of a Veteran who served in combat and returned home scarred from those experiences?

If prison is good enough for our Veterans, then surely it must be good enough for career criminals to punish them with the atrocities of war. Let’s save the good people of our country and punish the career criminals and send them to war.

Americans are so short-sighted that they view our wounded warriors as criminals, so let’s just make the real criminals the disposable military, instead of the honorable men and women who serve our country with little gratitude or respect from the spoiled, apathetic, American public.

Please - honor, respect, and show your support for this worthy Veteran, and forgive me for my shortcomings.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Our Veterans are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country's benefit. Our country should do the same for them when it is needed"

(This was written by a Veteran who served in Iraq with Pat. It explains some of the additional shortcomings that Veterans face upon returning to civilian life.)

"Several times I think how I sacrificed my freedoms in Iraq just for someone to not care and then I wonder if it’s worth it."

It is wrong for our government to publicly offer our active military and Veterans benefits and not provide them. Zach Jones a Veteran from Wisconsin publically wrote and stated: “I identify that they’ve got me on a technicality,” Jones said. “But it’s against the intent and overall purpose of the GI Bill, and the VA likes to use bureaucratic technicalities to deny veterans benefits.” (Luhan)

Many Veterans join the military for education benefits, medical benefits, and job benefit opportunities; however Veterans always have to remind the government and Veterans Affairs that Veterans earned these benefits.

One benefit is the Veterans Affairs work study program that provides Veterans with a job while in school. The work study program is short changing its Veterans.

Another benefit that Veterans Affairs is failing on is its service connected disability and health services. Many Veterans are leaving our military with disabilities that affect their everyday lives; many of these disabilities prevent Veterans from working and living normal lives.

Many people join the military for benefits that will help them to succeed in life. The most common benefit that draws people to enlist into the military is the G.I. Bill. The G.I. Bill is an education tuition assistance program to help you get through college. There are many different kinds of G.I. Bills that are offered to service members. If you are in the military reserves under Chapter 1606, you get paid less for college than persons that serve on active duty. Persons serving on active duty get more benefits under Chapter 30; however they have to pay one hundred dollars per month for twelve months while serving. Another kind of G.I. Bill is Chapter 1607 that is for Veterans that fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan war. The monthly pay rate is more than the Reserve G.I. Bill, however less than benefits Active Duty components receives.

One factor the military recruiter fails to tell you that most people do not use these benefits. This is because the system makes its hard for you to receive these benefits.

One example is Halsey Bernard, a Veteran from California and he says:
"What they tell you on TV and what the recruiters tell you when you go to sign up is: 'Don't worry. College is taken care of.' And it is not true," said Bernard. "Today it is a serious financial struggle and bureaucratic struggle and personal struggle to try to go to college after serving in combat." (Sennott)

By doing this I believe that our government fails to help Veterans. The government fails for many reasons, one reason is because the Veterans Affairs makes you wait for your money and people have to make meet scheduled bills on time.

Another reason the government fails its Veterans is because the Veterans Affairs changes the way it manages its payment distributing. This provides hardships on Veterans expecting monthly education payments and not receiving them on time. Many Veterans have to spend several days tracking people down and making phone calls just to get their benefits. When the Veteran is finally able to get someone to fix his problem he then has to wait several weeks for a payment.

I have experienced this several times to the point that I don’t even want to file for my benefit. This gets frustrating for Veterans and their family because of sacrifices made for life freedoms and these benefits. Several times I think how I sacrificed my freedoms in Iraq just for someone to not care and then I wonder if it’s worth it.

Why should someone join the military if they can’t even receive what is owed to them when asking for it? When they asked me to go to Iraq, when they wanted me to go, I never said wait a few months when the war is over or lost.

When you are receiving the G.I. Bill you are also eligible to participate in the work study program. The work study program provides a job for Veterans going to school. You are able to work twenty five hours a week and receive tax free money along with your G.I. Bill. I tried this program and it doesn’t work as well as I thought it would. The Veterans Administration should have a work study responsible for student turning in the hours. Veterans on work study worked and they always forget to turn it in for processing or wouldn’t be at work at the time it needed to be turned in. When the Veteran finally locates the work study that is suppose to process and turn in the Veterans work hours to the Veterans Administration finance office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Veteran finds out they are not getting paid and the Veteran has to deal directly with the office in Muskogee. Many times the finance office in Muskogee would hang up on you when you would call inquiring about pay. Then they would lose your documents and the Veteran would have to resubmit them.

As a result the Veteran has to resubmit the work hours to Muskogee and process them again and search for the work study that processes the paper work all over again. Zach Jones knows how this process works and couldn’t describe it any better: “I’ve been through the process several times now,” Jones said. “The federal GI Bill for me and most people I know is an uphill battle. … It’s a horrible process in general.” (Luhan)

When the Veteran doesn’t get paid on time and he has bills to pay he gets late fees. By the Veteran having to pay late fees on bills defeats the purpose of the benefit. The work study benefit is hindering and exhausting its Veterans. A good example is how the Veterans work study program has cheated me. During the summer and fall semester of 2007, I work five hundred hours and was paid for only three hundred hours. I was so sick of having to deal with the bureaucracy that I gave up on fighting for the money I earned. Veterans like me just decide it’s less stressful to find a regular job then deal with the work study bureaucracy, many end up leaving college and stop pursuing their goals.

Another benefit that is available to Veterans is a service connection disability. A service connected disability is a financial compensation that is given to a veteran for a disability that has been acquired during the Veterans time while on active duty. Some Veterans lose a limbs, hearing, traumatic brain injury, and have psychological problems that leave them so severely disabled that they cannot work or even cope in the civilian world. So the Veterans Affairs gives them a compensation to live on. The process of getting compensation can take up to a year and a half to process. During the process of acquiring the compensation, the Veteran usually has no other income for financial support. Many of these Veterans go homeless along with their families without anyone taking notice. Good example is Nicole Smith who is a Veteran from Washington D.C., she stated:

"When I first got back I just wanted to jump into a job and forget about Iraq, but the culture shock from the military to the civilian world hit me," she says. "I was depressed for months. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. The worst thing wasn't the war, it was coming back, because nobody understood why I was the way I was." (Marks)

Nicole Smith obviously needed to transition into the civilian world and could not work. She should be eligible for compensation and given time to acclimate into the civilian world. But by the time Nicole would be able to get approved for this benefit she could easily be living on the streets. To avoid people having to live on the streets the Veterans Affairs should put a decision board in each Veterans Affairs hospital to stream line the decision process, and award compensation quickly before the Veteran gets lost in the system and to society.

I believe that the Veterans Affairs has good intentions but the Veterans Affairs is being managed wrong and abusing our Veterans. We need to be able to take care of our Veterans not just the bureaucrats that run the Veterans Administration. The media is always telling our Veterans how much they are appreciated and yet they have to deal with these situations.

The media doesn’t even realize the problems Veterans have to deal with regards to the Veterans Administration. If they did that would be a major exposure of government failure in itself.

Our Veterans are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country's benefit. Our country should do the same for them when it is needed.

Ronald Perez - Iraq Veteran
written July 2008

Articles of Interest

(My brain is a little tired today, so I am going to completely defer to others for my posting. These are some interesting articles that I have read this morning.)

The Tragedy of Our 'Disappeared' Veterans
Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted August 12, 2009.

How the justice system has been manipulated to put astonishing numbers of vets with PTSD and other psychiatric injuries behind bars.

The reality is that nobody knows the precise number of veterans who have ended up behind bars in the aftermath of America's wars.

There are more than a few reasons why military and government officials might want those numbers to remain hidden, but certainly among the most compelling is cost.

Large numbers of veterans in prison suggest a pattern, perhaps even a causal relationship between military service and behaviors that lead to incarceration, lending support to those who argue that such behaviors should be seen as possible symptoms of a service-connected injury deserving of treatment and support rather than punishment.

When the patterns are hidden -- the numbers unavailable -- it is easier for the military to pretend that the problem is with a given individual and not systemic.

(click link for complete story)

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /


Clinical Studies of Non-Drug Treatment Show Promising Results
08.10.2009 – SANTA ROSA, CA.

The Army recently announced that the number of military suicides has risen to unprecedented levels — 41 in January and February alone, compared to 16 in the same period of 2008.

One of the few bright spots in this picture is emerging from new scientific research on PTSD. Two pilot studies have been done with veterans with PTSD, and have found statistically significant improvements. After treatment, the average veteran is PTSD-free, and remains so even when re-tested one year later.

They are being treated with EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques, an innovative method which pairs the recall of traumatic memories with physical stimulation of specific points on the body to discharge stress.

(click link for complete story)

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Iraq Vets Stress Project
(the link below is related to the article above)

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Truthout Original

Another Soldier Refuses Afghanistan Deployment
Wednesday 12 August 2009 - by: Dahr Jamail, truthoutreport

Sgt. Travis Bishop, who served 14 months in Baghdad with the 3rd Signal Brigade, faces a court-martial this Friday for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan.

Bishop is the second soldier from Fort Hood in as may weeks to be tried by the military for his stand against an occupation he believes is "illegal." He insists that it would be unethical for him to deploy to support an occupation he opposes on both moral and legal grounds and he has filed for conscientious objector (CO) status.

Spc. Victor Agosto was court-martialed last week for his refusal to deploy to Afghanistan. Agosto's lawyer, James Branum, who is also Bishop's lawyer, is the legal adviser to the GI Rights Hotline of Oklahoma and co-chair of the Military Law Task Force. Branum told Truthout during a phone interview on July 10 that, contrary to mainstream opinion that believes Afghanistan to be a "justified" war, the invasion and ongoing occupation are actually in violation of the US Constitution and international law.

(click link for complete story)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Medication Education - "It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin."

I have done extensive research on all of the medications that Patrick was prescribed by VA providers; and all of his medication has been prescribed by VA providers. In discussing my findings here, I hope that everyone may have a better understanding "how" this incident happened.

It was interesting that one medication was mentioned in the article about the soldier in Colorado, but there was no discussion about that medication.

Well - I am going to have a "discussion" about that particular medication - Ativan.

Ativan is in the drug class of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive. Ativan is the market name for lorazepam.

(1)( )
(1) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration indicates that benzodiazepines are classified as depressants. Repeated use of large doses or; in some cases, daily use of therapeutic doses of benzodiazepines is associated with

  • amnesia,
  • hostility,
  • irritability, and vivid or disturbing dreams

(2) )
(2) Benzodiazepines with a longer duration of action are utilized to treat insomnia in patients with daytime anxiety. These benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax®), chlordiazepoxide (librium®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®, halazepam (Paxipam®), lorazepam(Ativan®).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(This is a list of side effects that may result from the use of benzodiazepines)

(3) Professor C Heather Ashton DM, FRCP; School of Neurosciences Division of PsychiatryThe Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP

(3) "Paradoxical" Effects

Such reactions include:

  • increased aggressiveness (in some individuals even violent behavior),
  • depression (with or without suicidal thoughts or intentions), and
  • sometimes personality changes.

In some instances, reactions such as:

  • hallucinations,
  • depersonalization,
  • derealization and
  • other psychotic symptoms occur.

Ativan (lorazepam) and Halcion (triazolam) in particular may produce dissociation and other psychiatric symptoms.

All the psychological changes mentioned above may occur as long-term side effects when the use (or abuse) has become chronic (i.e. has been going on for many months or even years.)

Over time, the above-mentioned long-term side effects may develop. The risk of this course of events is greater with compounds with short half-lives such as Ativan (lorazepam).

In addition to the symptomatology described under "Paradoxical Effects", phobias, OCD, and various neurological symptoms such as tinnitus may occur as long-term side effects.

Cognitive Side Effects:

Memory functioning is significantly impaired, especially the ability to store acquired knowledge into long-term memory.

The risk of acute amnesia is more pronounced with short-acting drugs Ativan (lorazepam), Halcion (triazolam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) are especially likely to induce such memory impairment.

"Paradoxical" side effects occur in all age groups. The risk of such reactions is generally greater with short-acting compounds, most popular of the shorter-acting anxiolytics is: lorazepam (Ativan), but may occur with all benzodiazepine drugs.

It is important to remember that the "paradoxical" reactions can also be encountered in short-term use and, in rare cases, even following the first ingestion of the drug.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration drug labeling currently discourages long-term use of benzodiazepines (defined as four months or more).
(4) 2003 American Psychiatric Association.

Professor Ian Hindmarch, Head of Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit, University of Surrey, Milford Hospital, Godalming, Surrey states that although specific reference is made to flurazepam (Dalmane) all comments apply equally to benzodiazepines in general.

Professor Hindmarch emphasized that there are no lines of distinction between the action profile of one benzodiazepine compared to another, that by and large, the side effects of the individual drugs are so similar that it is possible to have a discussion of the effects of the benzodiazepines as a class.

This is significant because the most research data has come about because of studies involving diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and lorazepam.

The professor states, “There are three sources of information regarding the effects of benzodiazepines which can be used to augment my own 30+ year research experience of the drugs. They are results from controlled clinical/scientific laboratory studies in both volunteers and patients; lists of effects provided by the manufacturers of the drugs for inclusion in their datasheet (package insert) and issued in accordance with the requirements of the medicine regulatory bodies; and findings from studies of patients under treatment with clinical dose regimens of benzodiazepines."

The professor also notes that in his over 30 years of research on benzodiazepines, that in controlled studies that benzodiazepines alter or impair aspects of human behavior, which is essential for the performance of the intellectual, skilled and emotional demands of everyday living.

The impact is significant for thinking, decision making, judgment, memory, alertness, basic skills (car driving etc.) eye/hand coordination, problem solving, reasoning, mental arithmetic, speed of reaction, capacity for processing information and vigilance.

If intellectual processes, memory and the ability to reason are directly changed by a benzodiazepine, then the patient will be confused, make mistakes and errors in judgement, forget to do things and in general be unable to function appropriately or correctly in his habitual daily environment. There would also be an increased risk of accident, should basic coordination and judgemental skills be impaired.

Professor Hindmarch states that his findings are consistent with other large research facilities, reproducing the results of others and concurring with the general findings that most benzodiazepines at clinical, and even sub-clinical, doses impair and compromise a wide range of basic skills which are absolutely necessary for coping with the intellectual and psychological demands of everyday living.

Benzodiazepines bring on a feeling of detachment from the real world, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), lightheadedness, irritability, increased emotionality, visual disturbances, unsteadiness, nervousness, reduced alertness, dizziness, sleep disturbances, headache and abnormal or uncharacteristic psychological reactions.

Benzodiazepines have also been associated with aggressive outbursts, confusion, excitement, psychotic manifestations, depression and suicidal tendencies.

Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D. a staff psychiatrist at the Boston VA Outpatient Clinic, states, “One of the useful things I do for veterans I see is help them identify and get off of drugs that they use (whether prescribed by doctors of not) that are harming them.”

At the top of Dr. Shay’s list; Benzodiazepines.

Dr. Shay states that benzodiazepines cause disinhibition which will affect virtually anything that a person thinks about doing – but wouldn’t normally do, which would include such things as suicide and murder.

In the course of treating Veterans on benzodiazepines, Dr. Shay says one consistent finding is that benzos cause memory loss: “All of the benzos weaken the ability to remember what happened a short time ago, including things you yourself did or said.”

Dr. Shay concurs that while we all have memory lapses, and that no one is 100% on recall, that people on benzodiazepines are sometimes close to zero on recall.
(Revised: September 23, 1999 (contact information August 23, 2003; award November 15, 2003; URL: the public domain and may be duplicated and distributed freely)

Professor Malcolm H. Lader, OBE, DSc, PhD, MD, FRC Psych, FMedSci, Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, The Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, England. Professor Lader has trained in physiology with biochemistry, medicine, pharmacology and psychiatry and has formal qualifications in each of these disciplines. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and of the prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences.

He has published more than 100 papers on the subject of benzodiazepines, and has experienced over 500 medico-legal cases and has attended Court on numerous occasions to give expert evidence. He specializes in cases which involve the use of drugs and medicines in psychiatry and on the psychiatric effects of drugs and toxic substances. He is listed in the UK Register of Expert Witnesses.

He recommends short durations of usage and conservative dosage of benzodiazepines. He defines ‘short term’ as up to 4 weeks.
Professor Malcolm H Lader. Limitations on the use of benzodiazepines in anxiety and insomnia: are they justified? Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1999 Dec;9 Suppl 6:S399-405.

Dr. Lader warns of the ‘paradoxical effects’ of using benzodiazepines. The risk of such reactions may occur with all benzodiazepine drugs. (Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1999 Dec;9 Suppl 6:S399-405.)

Dr. Lader concurs that such reactions include increased aggressiveness (in some individuals even violent behavior), depression (with or without suicidal thoughts or intentions), and sometimes personality changes. In some instances, reactions such as hallucinations, depersonalization, dissociation and other psychotic symptoms occur.

The FDA, on August 1, 2007, and renewed July 31, 2008, issued a warning that Benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, should only be prescribed for short periods (ie, 2 - 4 weeks).

The FDA states that patients may experience hypersensitivity to light, noise, and/or physical contact, and that perceptual changes were also reported, as well as involuntary movements, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hallucinations, delirium, convulsions/seizures, tremor, abdominal cramps, myalgias, agitation, palpitations, tachycardia, panic attacks, vertigo, hyperreflexia, short-term memory loss, and hyperthermia. Patients with existing seizure disorders and those taking other drugs that lower the convulsive threshold (eg, antidepressants) may be at increased risk for convulsions and/or seizures.

The FDA cautioned providers when treating patients with preexisting conditions that compromise respiratory function, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea syndrome who are also taking benzodiazepines.

Pat has sleep apnea as a result of his pulmonary condition, and he has to sleep with a C-Pap so he doesn’t stop breathing.

So, I have presented documented information from experts, the DEA, and the FDA about the use of benzodiazepines, however, this was the ‘drug of choice’ given to Patrick.

The recommendation for the duration for the use of this medication is actually 2-4 weeks, and no more than 4 months.

Patrick has been taking this medication since November 2, 2006.

In a Radio 4 Interview in 1999 Professor Lader said: "It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin. It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have a great deal of problem coming off. The other aspect is that with heroin, usually the withdrawal is over within a week or so. With benzodiazepines, a proportion of patients go on to long term withdrawal and they have very unpleasant symptoms for month after month, and I get letters from people saying you can go on for two years or more. Some of the tranquilliser groups can document people who still have symptoms ten years after stopping."

"We knew from the start that patients taking markedly increased doses could get dependent, but thought only addictive personalities could become dependent and that true addiction was unusual. We got that wrong. What we didn't know, but know now, is that even people taking therapeutic doses can become dependent."

And in closing, The National Center for Treatment of PSTD (this is a VA affiliated facility) will not allow patients on this medication to enroll in their program.

And this is only one of Patrick's medications.

What does this say about the way the VA is treating our Veterans?

Please support Patrick during this difficult time.

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain