For most of my life, my father has been on drugs. Not the type you buy on the street, but the type doctors give. He started getting migraines when he was my age. Before long, he was going to head-pain doctors to get help. They prescribed medication to stop the pain. What my father didn’t understand was that the anti-migraine meds he was taking were in fact psych meds. Many medicines are created for one reason but prescribed for other reasons. So, my dad was taking drugs used to fight depression and other mental health disorders to stop his headaches. He was fine for many years, but the longer he stayed on psyche meds, the sicker he became. He was on them for 27 years. When one would stop working or make him too sick, doctors would give him others to try. He tried over 80 different drugs. Before long, he became very physically and mentally ill. He stopped telling me stories. He stopped leaving his room. He would just lie in bed for weeks at a time, crying. Mom would rush him to the emergency room. We all lived in fear. Fear that he would leave us. He talked about wanting to escape the pain. That’s all he talked about. Then he started to shake. He shook so hard he could not get food on his fork or spoon. He had trouble writing his own name. He got angrier and sadder. We all did. He went to a hospital where they lock people in. They gave him more and more meds until he lost all the color and life he used to have. He would just lay there and shake like a discarded piece of meat. At the end, he was taking nine meds each day, some two or three times a day. They were scattered on his desk, on his bed, in the bathroom, and on the floor. I asked him one night if he knew what he was taking. He said he stopped keeping track or even caring. I started to cry and then he started to cry. He knew the meds were killing him, but he was too scared to try living without them. He had tried to quit so many times and each time he was so frightened and sick he got back on them. Then he found a holistic treatment center that helps people stuck on medication. He didn’t have the money to go, so we asked forty four family members, friends, and teachers to loan what they could. I don’t think anyone expected him to pay it back, but they lent it anyway. He went to that center two years ago. We didn’t know if he would ever come back home. Or if he did, what shape he would be in. One by one he started getting off the meds. The center helped him withdraw safely. Each time he called, I could hear my old Poppy coming back to life. After one month he no longer needed to wear a diaper. After two months he stopped shaking. After three, he started to laugh again. He replaced all these meds with natural supplements, ones that made him feel safe and happy again. He spent hours each day pulling out all the poisonous metals and other gunk that were left in his system after so many years using meds. And just as importantly, he learned skills to handle the emotions that the medication had killed off. In some ways, he stopped growing emotionally when he was a teenager, so he had to learn to manage so many new emotions. He learned Yoga, Reiki, Qi Kong, and breathing. And he spent time talking things out with doctors and others. When he came back, Dad was back. He was writing again. He left the house. He even started driving! We decided to move to Sedona to be near the center and to be near all the friends he made there. He got off all nine drugs he was on. And with them his physical and emotional problems disappeared. Now he lectures at the Center and supports others who are trying to get off their meds. The reason I’m writing this letter is to offer you hope. One in five Americans is on psych meds. The number is only increasing. Most will never get off. Most people, like my father, suspect that meds are making them sicker, but they don’t know what to do. They don’t know that there is a safe alternative. Help is available. A safe alternative to meds is available. A way to reclaim the happy, drug-free you is available. Get the help you need. Help others get the help they need.