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INTRODUCTION

BY  JA ME S H A R PER

AFTER FOURTEEN YEARS of research, assisting tens of thousands of people to get off their psychoactive medication, this book is the final and closing chapter of the development of The Road Back Program. Not to say there will not be future advancements in this program, but the needed foundation for a psychoactive drug withdrawal program and health program is now firmly in place. The success rate of people now using this program is higher than ever imagined, the basic causes of drug withdrawal symptoms and the human health decline have now been discovered, and the solution is backed by scientific evidence.

This book is written mainly for the patient, or individual wanting to get off their drug or to simply rebuild or maintain good health. The last chapter of this book details the science behind this program and is written for the health-care provider.

If you have tried to get off your medication in the past and suffered, have found this book in the middle of your withdrawal or quit the drug cold turkey, you may have a little more work to do than most, but the success will still be there. With the advancements in The Road Back Program your route to recovery and feeling well again or maybe feeling well for the first time in years can now be accomplished in a rather short amount of time.

If you are seeking to improve your overall health, there is usually no need to be patient when you use the program, it works rather quickly. Many of us are just accustomed to feeling how we feel and we may have lost track of how good we can feel when the body and mind work as a unique team. By doing a few basic things, we can reverse much of what is happening inside of our body and that reversal usually equates to a better attitude in life and a major quality of life improvement.

I want to acknowledge the many people, from the four corners of Earth and all walks of life, who have successfully changed their life while using this program. Their perseverance and feedback have helped advance this program to today’s high degree of success.

And I applaud you, opening this book for the first time, for your courage and resolve to change your life and get yourself back as your reward.

I understand the apprehension you may feel about deciding to come off the drug, especially if you have tried to do so before and failed, or if you have heard horror stories of others who have tried to come off psychoactive medication.

Further, I understand the questions you might be asking at this point:

  • Will I experience mental or physical pain while on this program?

  • Will I have other side effects while on this program?

  • Will the drug side effects get worse before they get better?

  • Will my depression get worse during this program?

  • Will my anxiety levels increase?

You may have many other questions in addition to those above, but most importantly you should know that The Road Back Program is virtually side effect free. The testament to this, as you will see throughout the book, is that people just like you start to feel better, mentally and physically, sometimes from day one.

The program is setup so that you usually only start reducing the drug after you feel a major positive change and all or nearly all-existing side effects from the drug are eliminated. Thus, you know from the very beginning, change is possible; that this time there is a chance for you, and that you can do this and feel well once again.

The program is simple, effective, and extremely powerful when applied correctly. You too can have resounding success in getting off the medication and getting your life back.

Based on extensive research, specific “nutrients” have been formulated for this program. Their use, in conjunction with the full and complete program, have resulted in a high success rate of people getting off psychoactive medication, while also enormously reducing the potential and feared side effects from withdrawal.

What unwanted feelings come from you and what feelings does the medication generate? The program separates these confusing symptoms, and once this separation occurs, the real you will emerge.

One major change most people experience during the program; their reach for life returns or truly begins for the first time. Reach is defined as: to extend out; to touch or to seize; to communicate with.

Life is defined as: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body or inanimate matter (Webster’s Dictionary). Per the definition of life, you are vital. We need you and humankind needs you. The positive changes you can bring to others are beyond imagining. Life can be grand, life can be fulfilling; you, changing your life and having “reach” return will absolutely affect others in your environment.

Reach can return with your children, spouse, work or activities you have been putting  off for years that you have always wanted to do, or to do once again.

Remember and hold the following close to your heart as you travel this journey:

  • You Can Change.

  • You Can Change How You Feel.

  • You Can Be a Positive Influence for Others.

  • You Can Make It.

Antidepressants are often prescribed for post-menopausal symptoms without full knowledge of the risk/benefit equation. During 2009, two studies were published that still stick in my mind and need sharing.

It is acknowledged by the medical community that there is an increased risk for heart disease and stroke for post-menopausal women taking antidepressants. Antidepressants do work somewhat like aspirin, helps thin the blood, helps stop clotting, and with a few percentage points above a placebo in clinical trials, will work for depression or anxiety.

That is the benefit of antidepressants. What are the risk factors?

In December 2009, a troubling antidepressant study was published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

136,000 women participants enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study. None were taking an antidepressant at the time of enrollment.

The women had their first follow-up visit between year 1 and 3.

During their follow-up visit, 5,500 women had started taking an antidepressant.

The researchers found that the women taking an antidepressant had a 45% increase in the risk of stroke.

There was a 32% increase risk of dying from any cause during the follow-up period with the women taking an antidepressant.

The older tricyclic antidepressants were not linked to stroke, but they did increase the risk of dying by 67% during follow-up. Jordan W. Smoller, M.D., ScD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry, was the study’s lead author.

Earlier in 2009, the American Medical Association’s, American Medical News* (vol. 59, #9) includes an article: “The long goodbye: The challenge of discontinuing antidepressants; Tapering slowly is the mantra for pruning these regimens, but some patients may still experience withdrawal symptoms.”

“For various reasons, patients often are eager to discontinue antidepressants.”

“Some stop or reduce dosages on their own because of side effects, the expense, a desire not to take pills anymore or as a response to perceived stigma.”

The labels of antidepressants warn of symptoms that can occur with sudden discontinuation, and physicians often use this as a motivator for adherence.

Studies suggest about 20% of patients on these medications will experience symptoms of what’s been coined “the antidepressant discontinuation syndrome” when they try to stop.

  • Only a fraction of antidepressant side effects are reported to the FDA. The 20% experiencing withdrawal may actually be quite higher.

  • Some patients may be traumatized by the discontinuation attempt.

Dr. Charles Whitfield M.D. describes in detail the trauma caused by psychoactive medications in his new book, Not Crazy: You May Not Be Mentally Ill. Many times we spend more time assisting a person through the trauma caused by these medications than the actual withdrawal of the drug. This is also the part where the real you begins to come out and shine again. The Road Back Program does handle the body and the drug now with ease and this can be quite shocking for some individuals. If you were to take a person who has never spoken one word and have them speak overnight, if you were to take any person addicted to a drug and create such a sweeping positive change in a matter of hours, they need time to adjust and get accustom to how they now feel. This feeling has been described to me as near overwhelming and has been instrumental in helping overcome the drug-induced trauma.

I have included information from these two articles in this section of the book for a few reasons:

  1. I want you to know you are not alone with how you may feel now and that your experience with attempting to get off an antidepressant in the past was not you being mentally ill.

  2. There are risks with antidepressants that may be downplayed by your physician. Your physician may not even be aware of the two studies I have mentioned. Educate yourself.

Review the chapter, Medication Side Effects Defined for a complete list of published side effects of psychoactive medication.

My intent is not to worry you, but to inform. Each physician, before prescribing any medication is required to use what is called Informed Consent. Explaining the risk and benefits in a manner that the patient can fully understand, is Informed Consent.  This list of side effects includes the risks associated with stopping any medication. In other words, the side effects that are possible while taking the medication can also happen during withdrawal from the drug. All too often, a person was able to use an antidepressant for years and never gain weight, but the moment they began to reduce the antidepressant weight gain started. This weight gain was a withdrawal side effect.

The Final Stages of  The Road Back Program

While I start to write this part of the book I am overwhelmed with emotion. This has been a fourteen-year journey so far and most of my original goals with this program have now reached their conclusion. I almost wish I could now sit back and relax and put my attention elsewhere, but it is time to set the next goals for this program and ensure they are as far reaching as they were in 1999.

It is equally as important for you to begin setting your next goals as you read this book. You will get off the medication and you will feel good once again and there will be a reach for life.

Getting off the medication is a major decision and will feel like a major accomplishment and having your next goal ready to launch is vital. Don’t let any person tell you that you can’t attain your new goal. What have you dreamt of doing for years?  Start planning now!

In June 2010, I found a clinical study detailing the cause of antidepressant weight gain.

We have a gene in our body that is called JNK, and the JNK gene becomes over activated by antidepressants and that phenomenon is the cause of antidepressant induced weight gain. On further research I found the activation of the JNK gene is not only the cause of antidepressant induced weight gain, but virtually all side effects caused by a psychoactive medication can be directly linked to the over activation of the JNK gene.  Reducing the JNK gene expression can be accomplished naturally and that technique is now a major part of this program.

The role of the JNK gene in our health is a basic starting point. Most disease cannot begin or at the least cause harm inside the body unless this JNK gene becomes overly activated. The poliovirus must first activate the JNK gene, Parkinson’s does not begin until the JNK gene is stimulated, cancer and tumors cannot exist as long as the JNK gene remains in a normal state. An autistic begins to lose their symptoms of autism when this JNK gene expression is reduced. Diabetes requires an activated JNK gene, just the same as weight gain and liver conditions.

Asian’s have a problem when consuming alcohol due to a missing gene. When an Asian drinks alcohol, the alcohol creates an immediate and prolonged activation of the JNK gene and this is what causes the near immediate intoxication, liver problems and more.

The answer is to reduce the JNK gene activation naturally and quickly. This is what The Road Back Program now accomplishes. This may seem like this program is treating, preventing or curing disease with these statements, we are not.

We are just reducing the activation of the JNK gene and letting the body do what it naturally does when this gene is regulated effectively.

Drugs create a metabolic disorder. The metabolic disorder occurs while taking the drug as well as when you begin reducing the drug. An example of one would be the depletion of the B vitamin biotin if a person has a prolonged use of a benzodiazepine, anti-anxiety drug. The individual may experience a reaction to bright light, a reaction to loud noise and more. This is a symptom of low biotin in the body and when you take biotin the symptom goes away as long as it was coming from low biotin levels. This approach is not treating, preventing or curing an illness or disease.

In closing, as you read this book, perhaps you might be thinking “...this sounds good for others...” or “...others can make it, but not me...” Believe me; I am referring directly to you.

My best to you in your journey,   

Jim Harper