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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.3M people die every year from alcohol-related causes; more than malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. Multiple researchers estimate that 80-90% of people suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD, the new term for alcoholism) do not seek treatment, due to the daunting prospect of what actress Claudia Christian describes as the “false assumption” that alcoholics can never drink again for the rest of their lives. She notes that for a 20- or 30-year old, this prospect might seem very daunting. Of the 10% who do seek treatment, 90% relapse within the first 4 years.

With roughly one person dying every ten seconds from Alcohol Use Disorder, Christian asks, “Is our current treatment system the best we can do?” She notes that The Sinclair Method has a 78% success rate and she asks us to imagine a world in which there are that many less failed marriages, abused children, accidents, missed days at work, etc.

Claudia Christian describes her own harrowing and expensive experience with AUD and her eventual recovery, using The Sinclair System, which she would like to see become the go-to option for curing for alcoholism.

TSM consists of taking an opiate-blocking drug, such as naltrexone, waiting for it to be absorbed by the body and then drinking alcohol. That doesn’t sound intuitive but what the patient will do over the course of weeks or months or however long it takes for that individual to drink him- or herself sober.

The opiate blocker blocks the endorphins from activating the part of the brain responsible for addiction, which is normally a progressive condition. Over the course of weeks or months, the disordered person’s neuro-chemistry is restored to normalcy. She finishes by saying, “Let’s give addicts the option they deserve.”

I’ve heard of antabuse drugs but I’d never heard that they were particularly successful. I’ve never heard of The Sinclair Method before, so I learned something new here and maybe someone out there will benefit from this information.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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  • I have not had a drink in 31 years, I realized that alcohol is poision, and put my family through 18 months of hell when I quit. I have a addictive personality so I changed my poison. I wish I had quit everything back then, been clean completely for a bit over 3 years, except ” cigarettes”, that will probably be my demise. Live long and learn as well as apply what you learn. Best wishes for all.

  • Any addiction appears by a lack of love of being loved.

    Where inside a religion is stated: respect your parents, the parents are allways in commandment.
    Here any kind of punishing can happen, developing any kind of addiction.
    This impact even can take place inside the womb.

    Alcohol limits the impact of oxygen inside the brain and body.
    The importance of oxygen: after some minutes without oxygen survival is over, where this takes longer with water or solid food.

    Besides, by any punishment or rewarding, the breathing stops for some time, where by this lack of oxygen such experiences becomes stored inside the brain by the hormone adrenalin. Now the beginning of an addiction or confirming such an addiction is in progress.
    This happened already for thousands of years, which is genetically transferred by the mother and father into the new born being.
    For avoíding addiction keep breathing.
    Of course therapy is needed, where I say that a “therapy” based on oxygen could help very well.

    • It’s not for everyone. TSM doesn’t work for 22% of those in clinical trials. As I understand it, this is for both the people who are not going to stop drinking and for the 80-90% who relapse after recovery, doing 12-step programs and abstinence. It’s for people who are apprised of how this method works and who desire to manage the extinction of their biochemical addiction through this specific protocol and who are able to manage this process.

      Having lived through decades of family drama around alcoholism, recovery, relapse (lather, rinse, repeat) – and luckily, recovery again, I was surprised that I’d never heard of The Sinclair Method until I stumbled on this yesterday and I’m happy to know that there is something out there besides AA. My family members have been solid followers of AA/Al Anon. My stepfather is on the board of the NCADD and was very involved with the production of their website: https://www.ncadd.org.

      This is from The Sinclair Method website (https://www.the-sinclair-method.com):

      “More than 85% of the alcoholics being treated with naltrexone do indeed take their medication, even though they have been told that it blocks initial euphoria from alcohol…

      “Among alcoholics, there is very little – if any – pleasure obtained from drinking, and certainly not enough pleasure to compensate for all the pain they get from their continued abuse of alcohol. Alcoholics drink because they have become wired to drink. There is no rational reason for choosing to drink because they do not ‘choose’ to drink, any more than you choose to lift your leg when the doctor taps your knee. You are wired to produce the knee-jerk reflex, and the alcoholic has become wired to produce the drinking reflex.

      “So, yes, naltrexone or nalmefene may partially block the pleasure – if any – from drinking. But pleasure is not why alcoholics continue drinking.  Consequently, the blocking of pleasure from alcohol stopped few patients from taking their naltrexone or nalmefene. If they had been told to abstain from drinking, compliance would have been much more difficult. Alcoholism, by definition, is difficulty in abstaining from alcohol. And clinical trials that have instructed patients to abstain have met with more problems with compliance. However, being told to take a pill before drinking is an easy command to obey.

      “The pleasure from alcohol may be unimportant for the alcoholic, but the overall pleasures in life are important. Many behaviors are reinforced by endorphins, and we would not want to lose these other joys in life. As a solution for this problem, the Sinclair Method uses a process called selective extinction that removes the behaviors related to alcohol craving and abuse but supports and strengthens the other behaviors reinforced by endorphins. (This will be discussed in chapter 9 in the section titled Selective Extinction: How to maximize Your Results.)
      “Your subjective sensations, feelings, and emotions hardly change when you drink while taking naltrexone or nalmefene. However, the pathways controlling your drinking are incrementally weakened each time you do it. This occurs at the microscopic level of trillions of connections between neurons in the brain.  Just as you cannot feel the metabolic processes in your liver or kidneys, you do not feel the de-addiction process as your nervous system is restored to normal.

      “As you drink on naltrexone or nalmefene, you will not be aware of the neural super-highways being weakened and cut back into their original condition. The process amounts to the gradual but steady weakening of the addictive circuitry wired throughout your brain and nervous system. As you proceed to drink while taking naltrexone or nalmefene, your brain is no longer being enforced by endorphins,  This produces pharmacological extinction – Sinclair’s amazing discovery – which automatically weakens the wiring causing your addiction. De-addiction happens slowly but surely with the research showing that the more often you drink on naltrexone or nalmefene, the more you weaken your addiction. One could not ask for an easier, more elegant, or dignified solution to addictive drinking – you literally ‘Drink Your Way Sober’.”

  • I had an alcoholic girlfriend from 1997-2000…
    Her pattern was constantly comatose drunk binge for approx 5 days, 4 days of detox, 3 weeks of healthy normal sober normalcy then total silence/withdrawal for a few hours then a comatose drunk binge again…
    At one point she WAS on naltrexone but it was when she was on one of her periods of non-drinking so that was probably why it did her no good….
    Incidentally she died 2 years ago of a brain hemorrhage at age 49 after 5 years of sobriety… She collapsed and the ambulance took her to the hospital that she was previously brought to for her hundreds of detoxes….They didn’t even treat her and let her die because the scumbags assumed she was drunk….

  • Oh Really??? I bought a big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. After Judge called me Alcoholic, choice jail or AA. April 15 1986 was my first day of “NOT” taking “A” drink, One Day at A time….
    I got into the boat of AA and got into Service, found A Higher Power to help me not drink today. got out of tomorrow and yesterday… right Now. is all We have…

    • That’s fantastic. My stepfather also had his life saved by AA and many brothers and sisters have gotten a lot out of Al Anon, which is for the family members. It’s been great for our family but people who recover this way are only 10-20% (the higher number is AA’s) of the total who go that route and it’s not good enough. This addresses the extremely debilitating neurological issue head-on. I think it’s fascinating.

      https://www.the-sinclair-method.com/the-sinclair-method-guide/step-one/

      I was shocked that I’d never heard about this.

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