Sinclair Method Get Alchohol Use Under Control

How The Sinclair Method Can Get Alcohol Use Under Control

If you’re concerned about alcohol use, you’re not alone. More than 14 million Americans struggle with alcohol, and many develop alcohol use disorder (AUD). This is the scientific term for someone unable to stop excess drinking, even though it’s affecting their health or personal lives. AUD encompasses terms like alcoholism or alcohol abuse, ranging from mild to moderate, and severe. For those trying to reduce or stop alcohol use, a doctor may suggest The Sinclair Method (TSM). 

This method is one of many different forms of treatment. However, it’s been building momentum as one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate drinking for the long haul. In fact, TSM has been shown to be more effective than counseling alone or other forms of treatment. Here’s everything you need to know about how The Sinclair Method can get alcohol use under control.

 

What is The Sinclair Method?

 

This method takes a targeted approach to overcoming alcohol use disorder with a medication called naltrexone. This drug has been on the market for decades but has been used since just the 90s to help control AUD, and was often recommended with abstinence from alcohol and daily use.

Dr. John D. Sinclair’s method does not call for abstinence, though, and employs a different dosing protocol. And, his method allows you to build a healthy relationship with alcohol. Strategic use of the medication, often combined with counseling or coaching, will reduce alcohol cravings and even enable you to quit alcohol if you choose.

With the Sinclair Method, you’ll be required to take naltrexone 1-2 hours before a drinking episode and avoid it at all other times to receive its benefits. Since drinking patterns vary from person to person, so will the medication dosing protocol. Naltrexone will help reduce or even eliminate the desire for more alcohol, meaning you’ll consume less. And, while TSM can be done entirely by yourself, counseling and especially coaching can dramatically assist in treatment.

 

Understanding naltrexone

 

When you drink alcohol, the brain produces endorphins, feel-good neurochemicals that contribute to that euphoric or “buzzed” feeling that comes on from drinking. These endorphins also bind to special opiate receptors throughout the brain (receptors are proteins in our bodies that facilitate neurochemical activity), which can increase the need for more alcohol. This leads to the side effect of having too much alcohol in the system and causes AUD.

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved prescription drug that comes in a daily pill or injectable form. It creates a barrier around these opiate receptors in the brain, reducing the pleasurable, addictive effects of alcohol brought on by the release of endorphins. In effect, by blocking endorphin activity while drinking, the less you’ll feel a desire for alcohol since the brain no longer treats alcohol use as a rewardable, addictive experience.

 

What are the benefits of The Sinclair Method?

 

So why choose TSM over quitting cold turkey? The primary goal is to reach a healthy relationship with alcohol, though many also can and do choose to quit using TSM. If people employ TSM consistently, they will begin to see that they no longer think about alcohol. It restores choice, which becomes absent with alcohol use disorder, especially for those physically dependent on alcohol. Here are some other fantastic benefits:

 

You can still drink alcohol

 

Entirely abstaining from alcohol is difficult, as it’s part of the very fabric of society. Almost all special events have alcohol. It’s accessible in almost every store or restaurant. If you try to white-knuckle quitting or cutting back, you’re simply placing an artificial pause on the opioid receptors and endorphins. It takes too much willpower to keep it up. 

Studies show that relapse rates are as high with traditional approaches. With TSM, you can still drink your favorite wine, beer or spirit. It’s actually required under TSM to slowly begin to change your relationship with drinking. And, TSM doesn’t impact other effects of alcohol, which include inducing a calming or relaxation effect. Naltrexone does not interfere with the taste of alcohol or its ability to induce a pleasant, relaxation sensation. It just blocks endorphins, which trigger the innate reward cycle in the brain which drives the addiction. Drinking on naltrexone, versus drinking without it, doesn’t produce a sharp, noticeable change in the overall drinking experience.

 

Eliminates dangerous withdrawal symptoms

 

When you quit cold turkey, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Based on how dependent you are on alcohol, these symptoms can be quite severe. Some people experience headaches, fever, tremors, sweating, and irritability. Others have intense side effects like seizures, confusion, high blood pressure, and much more. 

 

Avoid The Alcohol Deprivation Effect

 

If you’re abstaining from alcohol, the temptation can lead to increasingly severe cravings and obsessive behavior. Excessive alcohol use changes the brain’s chemistry and has long-lasting effects, even if you decide to quit cold turkey. If you deprive yourself of alcohol when your brain and body require it, the alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) can occur. This is categorized by excessive drinking the first time alcohol consumption is reinstated, followed by alcohol use well above previous baseline use. This could make quitting again even more difficult and can lead to undesired, unpredictable and often wild swings in alcohol consumption that resemble a “yo-yo” diet experience. The Sinclair Method reduces the chances of ADE since the medication blocks the rewarding effects of drinking with each drinking episode, producing a dissociation between alcohol and endorphins repeatedly over time, leading to a gradual, easy decline in drinking. There is no volatile, whipsaw effect brought on by ADE.

 

There are long-term benefits

 

Chronic alcohol use has a detrimental effect on our health and wellness. Studies show that alcohol use is linked to diabetes, liver damage, heart disease, and certain cancers. We’re also at risk for obesity or drug use based on other habits associated with heavy drinking. With TSM, you’ll improve your health through weight loss, improving your confidence, and healing your liver. 

 

It encourages mindful drinking

 

TSM is not about medicating the problem. It’s a multi-layered approach that can help you become a more mindful drinker. Coaching with TSM enables you to become a more mindful drinker. Not only will the medication reduce the efficacy of alcohol, but you’ll think about your habits before you start, reducing the chances of binge drinking. 

 

You manage your treatment

 

Other treatment methods require time at expensive rehab facilities. TSM focuses on proper naltrexone use on the patient’s time. This method also works in today’s technological world. For instance, our strategy involves online video chat medical assessments, self-guided online video content access, and naltrexone use which we facilitate through fast, online prescribing to your local pharmacy at the lowest price available. This strategy allows the patient to start and manage the process with minimal friction.

 

How to use TSM to get alcohol use under control

 

The journey starts with the person suffering from AUD taking the first step. Seeking help is a life-changing decision, regardless of where you are on the AUD spectrum.

You’ll connect with a doctor, addiction specialist, or healthcare professional. From there, there are several steps to take before your first dose of naltrexone:

  • A pre-screening to see if TSM is right for you
  • Assessments of your alcohol history and health history
  • A prescription for naltrexone
  • Monitoring and adjustment to make sure you’re off to a good start and to optimize your treatment as you progress, since TSM will come with slight variations due to individual differences among each patient

 

You’ll likely receive a supply of the drug for a short period with refills. Again, dosing and frequency of using the medication is tailored to each individual’s drinking pattern, so TSM will vary slightly for each person. But, for all patients they will take the recommended dosage, usually 50 mg of naltrexone, 1-2 hours before each drinking session.

Along with the drug will be content to help understand your relationship with alcohol. These may be self-guided video tutorials and courses, 1:1 live coaching interactions, or both. The goal is to help understand triggers, navigate challenging situations and coping options, and eliminate the root cause of drinking.

From there, you’ll have follow-up sessions to assess the medication’s effectiveness, side effects, and any possible challenges. At alcure.me, you have ongoing support from medical professionals to help you navigate any challenging parts of treatment.

TSM needs several months to see results and possibly longer to reach a stage where you no longer crave or think about alcohol. Once you reach that plateau, you’ll stay there through the maintenance use of naltrexone, following the same dosing protocol you learned and used throughout treatment.

 

How long does The Sinclair Method take to work?

 

Like most medicines, the results vary. Some TSM users realize changes with alcohol within weeks, citing a growing indifference toward alcohol. Others may take several months to notice marked changes, particularly if they have severe alcohol use or dependency. Different factors affect success, including health, drinking habits, and adherence to the dosing protocol, which is perhaps the most critical aspect of TSM. Once you notice your drinks, drinking days and other habits are evaporating, you know TSM is working and you’ll invest in it even more. 

 

Are there side effects from naltrexone?

 

The vast majority of patients will not experience any side effects from the medication, some will experience mild to moderate side effects that usually go away after a short period, and a few will experience more adverse side effects. At alcure.me, our providers assist each patient as-needed with a number of strategies to lessen or eliminate side effects should they occur, including the use of simple over-the-counter remedies and in some cases prescribing other medications.

 

Is the Sinclair Method permanent? In other words, can you relapse after TSM?

 

The Sinclair Method retrains the brain and body to disassociate alcohol consumption with endorphins, thereby eliminating the addiction at the root cause level. It’s superior to other treatments which otherwise try to mask addiction with willpower or other medications, none of which work very well and all of which are associated with chronic relapse. 

Relapse is possible even after completing the Sinclair Method, but just as drinking gradually reduces over time by employing TSM, “relapse” in the context of TSM involves gradually going back up in alcohol consumption, almost always due to abandoning the naltrexone dosing protocol called for by TSM. While that’s not desired, it’s much better than a traditional AUD relapse which is often a dramatic, one-time kickoff event characterized by spiked intake of alcohol, as if an itch was long overdue to be scratched. That kind of “hard” relapse will not happen for persons having completed TSM. And, the excess drinking can be reversed again by simply reinstating the proper dosing of naltrexone as called for by TSM.

 

Is the Sinclair Method right for me?

 

The Sinclair Method can be done entirely on your own with just a prescription and some basic guidance, but for best results it combines strict adherence to the dosing protocol of naltrexone with on-demand medical guidance and professional coaching, and in some cases counseling, to treat alcohol use disorder optimally. TSM acknowledges that alcohol is part of our society’s fabric, and that total abstinence or reduced drinking are both legitimate goals. 

TSM allows you to drink while gradually reducing alcohol intake to a healthy level. From there, you can decide to stop alcohol altogether. The goal is to reach a stage where you can decide if you want to drink or not in any situation, as alcohol no longer has a gripping effect on your life. 

The Sinclair Method is growing in popularity and will soon be the leading way to get alcohol use under control. If you’re interested in addressing even a mild case of AUD or worried about future alcohol use, try The Sinclair Method as soon as possible.

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