By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- I was trying to convince a retired Navy physician that he needed to buy a firearm.
Even after thirty years of military firearms training he felt he was not qualified to own a personal firearm.
I suspect his philosophy on firearms comes from his vocation as a healer of humans not a harmer of humans. Now I am a retired policeman, Airman, and Army trained Infantry officer. In my mind even though I was trained to deal with extreme violence in our society I am also a person who does not want to harm my fellow humans.
I would just as soon leave everyone alone and get on with my life. The problem is evil is always out there. While talking with the Navy Doc my concern was, in a crisis there will be a shutdown of the flow of legal medications very quickly. If you are a heart patient or a diabetic without your daily medications you could in short order find yourself in a life threatening medical situation.
I recently wrote a column about Zombies and I received some feedback. It was suggested that I consider the issue of Americans who are on mental health medications. What will happen to them and society when these patients go off their meds due to the unavailability of their prescription medications?
When hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, along with emergency medical help being sent in, emergency pharmacy help was sent in. Most people in the US have only a thirty day supply of their required medications. Insurance providers in most cases limit a customer to a month’s supply. Sadly Americans can be rather cheap. They could have extra months of desperately needed medications on hand but the individual would have to pay for those additional supplies themselves, they choose not to.
More than 1 in 5 Americans now takes at least one drug to treat psychological disorders, this according to The Week online report (theweek.com). I found these same numbers reported in numerous other publications I researched. This ranges from medications used as antidepressants, to anti-anxiety to severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia. The next time you are sitting in a room with a large group of people just realize one or more in every five of these supposedly “normal” people are on mental health medications.
Medicated mental health patients are in all walks of life to include your immediate circle of family and friends and as long as they stay on their prescribed medications life goes on fairly normal.
Now envision a Kartina disaster the size of half the US. All the medications will run out. Grandpa will die of a heart attack and your neighbor, the very brittle diabetic, will be dead as soon as his last supply of insulin is gone. What happens to the mental health patients when they go off their meds due to lack of resupply? Many will adjust without their meds. Many will discover their lives are in such turmoil that they do not have time to deal with perceived unmanageable issues from their former pre-crisis life.
When you are trying to just stay safe and feed yourself you do not have time to worry about your self esteem or depression over family and work related stress that you have gotten yourself medicated for.
I am not trying to make light of these issues, but when a major crisis hits you have an entirely new set of stress generating problems to deal with. These new stress issues could cost you your safety or even your life. What about the seriously affected mental health patient who is now without meds in a crisis situation. Mentally healthy Americans are not ready for a life changing crisis, so envision the not so healthy.
The global lifetime prevalence of schizophrenia is estimated to be .3-.7%. My weak public math skills tell me that one out of every 200 people at the Democratic Convention in 2012 was schizophrenic. I don’t expect the Zombies to appear at the next major US disaster but I do expect tens of thousands of Americans to be without their needed medications.
Sadly, good people will die. Mental health patients will tax the already over stretched emergency response and some will become a threat to the public. They are not going to be walking around trying to eat human flesh but they could become rather dangerous to an already severely impacted society on the edge. That weird guy living next door off his meds could be a bigger threat in time of crisis than the drug dealers and gang-bangers we are afraid of. How about a mentally ill gang-banger off his meds—there is a candidate for a real Zombie?
How about all those people who self medicate with alcohol and illegal drugs? Prepare—prepare, a three month supply of medications is a minimum.Major Van Harl USAF Ret
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret. , is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Now retired, these days he enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and writing. firstname.lastname@example.org