I am often asked how POINT OF RETURN came into existence and how this remarkable withdrawal program was developed. It came as a result of my personal experience, both on the medications and regaining my life from the damage the drugs had done.
I began my journey on prescription medications with utter ignorance. It never occurred to me that the prescribed medications could be addictive - or that they had side effects. As time went on I felt as though portions of my personality were dying. I felt as if the fiber of what constructed my personality – my soul, and subsequently, my connection to life was lessening.
I can't sleep. That simple phrase sent me down a ten-year debacle into horrifying depths. It began with a prescription for a benzodiazepine that initially worked wonders. However, within a short period of time my body reached tolerance and it took larger doses to have the desired effect. Then a massive amount of one drug became two prescriptions and this ruse continued until at the end when I was on Klonopin, Restoril (Temazepam), Ambien, Effexor, Sinequan as well as Oxycontin, Hydrocodone (Norco) and Zanaflex for severe pain.
I’m not sure when my awareness surfaced that the magic pills I ingested were actually killing me. I was told that the medications were non-addictive and could be stopped by first cutting them in half and then continuing to reduce the amounts from there -- I was not prepared for the withdrawals that gripped me. My depression deepened and anxiety ripped through my core. The electrical zaps left my brain feeling as if it was cracking. A tiny movement would send a jolt through my head and had me convinced I had a massive brain tumor.
(Alesandra Rain with Dr. Raymond Armstrong - guest speaker medical conference)
I began to hallucinate and suffered blackouts and eventually I sought help at Cirque Lodge in Utah, a renowned treatment center nestled in the mountains. My medications were confiscated and for the next 17 days I couldn't sleep or lay down because my nervous system was on fire. The withdrawals took months to subside. I was only 45 years old. Without the kindness and constant reassurance of the Cirque Lodge staff, I would never have made it out of the nightmare.
It was in treatment, amidst addicts from all walks of life that I felt the travesty facing our society. I watched many quitting illegal drugs that were struggling, but they were through the worst within in a few days. It was those of us on benzodiazepines or sleeping pills that spent many weeks in relentless blood-curdling withdrawal.
The Cirque Lodge staff was kind, patient and provided the nurturing environment I needed to survive my "cold turkey" withdrawal, and their experiential horse program allowed me to reconnect to the world of nature. Although I suffered excruciating withdrawals, I am eternally grateful for their support in my time of greatest need. I left Cirque Lodge and returned to Los Angeles with a renewed conviction -- I knew that I had found my calling. Building this dream was a monstrous undertaking and it was through my rare connection with Andrea Crocker that our wonderful nonprofit was founded.
Andrea and I worked with Bill Code, M.D. – an expert in Integrative Medicine, glutathione, brain function, addiction and pain management - to create the tapering guidelines and nutritional support that have already helped people in 79 countries regain control of their lives over the last 15 years. Addiction to prescription pills is a global issue that crosses all lines in society. The youngest we have helped was 4 years old and the oldest 96. This issue does not discriminate.
(Alesandra Rain with Dr. Bill Code - guest speakers in England)
Take As Directed is Alesandra Rain’s true story that has inspired people in every corner of the globe.
Alesandra has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and completed her graduate work in a Master’s of Fine Art. She is an author and prescription drug expert for Fox News Channel and ABC who frequently does radio, television interviews and lectures worldwide. Alesandra Rain has been prescription drug and pain free for over 15 years. She is a keynote speaker and currently resides in South Carolina with her rescue dog Oak.
To Hell and Back
Alesandra Rain, 1991 (34 yrs. old) - Prior to Meds
Alesandra Rain, 1993 (36 yrs. old) - 1st year on medications
Alesandra Rain, 1995 (38 yrs. old) - 3 years on medications
Alesandra Rain, (43 yrs. old) - Upon Admission to Treatment
Alesandra Rain, 2017 (59 yrs. old) - 15 years medication free.