PHOENIX — His nightmares had gotten so bad, Marine Corps veteran Roberto Pickering was drinking himself to death.
“When I got back from Iraq, I felt like an eggshell, and a basket case,” he said. “And I was just doing all this self-destructive behavior that I could think of to not feel anything at all.”
Pickering returned from Iraq in 2003 haunted by post-traumatic stress. He’d seen his buddies die. The transition back to civilian life wasn’t easy. At one point, he was prescribed 14 different drugs.
Then he tried pot.
“I stopped all the pills cold turkey,” he said. “And I picked up cannabis, ’cause in my opinion, it was either find relief or suicide.”