How It Works

The Sinclair Method

Sinclair Method :

Targeted dosing of naltrexone gradually eliminates alcohol use disorder.

“Medication assisted treatment with naltrexone, the Sinclair Method, appears to be the most effective treatment for alcohol use disorder at this time.”


Clifford Fields, D.O., Emergency and Addiction Medicine


Alcohol Consumption Induces Endogenous Opioid Release in the Human Orbitofrontal Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens

This 2012 Mitchell study, out of the University of San Francisco, proved that alcohol releases endorphins (also called “endogenous opioids”) which are the body’s naturally produced version of an opioid that simply reinforce the act of drinking. Using naltrexone, which we prescribe to our clients for targeted dosing to disrupt that reinforcement, is the basis of the Sinclair Method.

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Evidence about the use of naltrexone and for different ways of using it in the treatment of alcoholism

This 2001 study, put out by the Finnish National Public Health Institute and authored by the scientist that invented the “Sinclair Method,” explains the basics of what’s called “Pharmacological Extinction” in the medical literature and how it employs the targeted dosing of naltrexone to achieve extinction of alcohol use disorder.

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Efficacy of As-Needed Nalmefene in Alcohol-Dependent Patients with at Least a High Drinking Risk Level: Results from a Subgroup Analysis of Two Randomized Controlled 6-Month Studies

This more recent European medical journal article summarizes two large-scale patient studies testing the targeted dosing of a second-generation opioid-blocker similar to naltrexone to achieve similar results in extinguishing alcohol use disorder as the Finnish studies produced. In 2014, Pharmacological Extinction combined with therapy was officially approved by the European Union’s version of the FDA as an effective treatment model and is now widely available for treating alcohol use disorder in other European countries besides just Finland.

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GABA receptors and alcohol

This 2009 study, from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research in Texas, explains how the alcohol molecule also “mimics” GABA, a naturally occurring neurochemical that slows neuronal firing to produce a calming effect, the reason many people drink. Opioid-blocking medication doesn’t block GABA, making extinction of alcohol use disorder relatively effortless. How? The overall “drinking experience” is not affected. Just the endorphins are blocked, a less noticeable effect.

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The BRENDA model: integrating psychosocial treatment and pharmacotherapy for the treatment of alcohol use disorders

This 2006 study from the University of Pennsylvania explains how support improves the outcome of medication-assisted treatment of alcohol use disorder by assisting patients in understanding treatment protocol and compliance. Support also assists patients with neutralizing secondary causes of alcohol use disorder that usually brought about the condition in the first instance.

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Effects of short deprivation and re-exposure intervals on the ethanol drinking behavior of selectively bred high alcohol-consuming rats

This 2008 study, from the University of Indianapolis, explains the “alcohol deprivation effect,” which is nearly identical to “yo-yo” dieting for people attacking a weight issue through will-power alone. With alcohol use disorder we call this “relapse.” Our treatment method will eliminate relapse once you cement the habit of as-needed use of the medication we prescribe any time you choose to drink in the future. It’s easy to do. The chart below demonstrates the basic “yo-yo” trajectory of drinking caused by the alcohol deprivation effect. Time periods in which cravings rise due to forced abstinence will vary in length.

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The “Yo-Yo” Trajectory