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The Origin of the Sinclair Method for Alcohol Use Disorder

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Did you know that more than 6% of adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder? Unfortunately, fewer than 7% of people with alcohol use disorder, or AUD, seek medical attention for their condition.

Individuals who have lived with fighting alcohol addiction recognize the profound impact the experience has on them. You’ve tried everything, only to find relapse a recurrent part of your life. But there is hope.

The Sinclair Method for alcohol use disorder treatment is an evidence-based treatment for alcohol addiction. TSM uses medication that blocks the effects of opiates, which prevents cravings and helps with withdrawal symptoms. Read on to learn about the Sinclair Method for alcohol use disorder treatment, including what it involves and if it is right for you.

What Is the Sinclair Method?

The Sinclair Method is an addiction treatment program that uses a combination of coaching and medication to help patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) break their alcohol dependence. At Alcure, coaching is also an important part of the program and is offered through video tutorials and courses. Alcure will also provide additional 1-1 coaching support upon request.

The Sinclair Method is a highly effective treatment model that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings for alcohol. TSM for alcoholism uses targeted dosing of naltrexone, a simple medication, taken only when you drink alcohol. Naltrexone is at the heart of the treatment and works on the brain chemistry that’s involved with drinking, helping to adjust it so that the strong desire to drink alcohol is lessened over time.

It’s effective at disrupting your brain’s reward system that is activated by alcohol. It does this by blocking endorphins which reinforce your desire to drink alcohol. Your brain will make gradual changes in its association with alcohol, reducing cravings and enhancing your control over your alcohol consumption as you progress through treatment.

Naltrexone is a safe, inexpensive, and non-habit-forming medication that has been around for several decades and is FDA approved. You will need to find a doctor to prescribe naltrexone for your Sinclair Method treatment.

How Does the Sinclair Method Work for Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Dr. John D. Sinclair working with the Finnish government created the scientifically supported treatment for alcohol use disorder known as The Sinclair Method or TSM. The Sinclair Method permits you to start drinking alcohol at the outset of treatment. This is unlike conventional therapies that demand total abstinence from alcohol.

In fact, continuous alcohol consumption combined with the prescription naltrexone is essential for the success of treatment. TSM entails taking naltrexone one hour before your first drink of the day and for as long as you continue to consume alcohol in a drinking episode, and to avoid naltrexone at all other times. The effect of that dosing protocol causes the body to reacclimate to alcohol, disrupt the reinforcing effects of alcohol and loosen up the strong desire or cravings to drink over time.

Your medical provider will start you with a standard dose of naltrexone then adjust accordingly if needed, and combine your treatment with effective guidance and coaching, eventually reducing your drinking and building up wellness living strategies to help you achieve long-term success so that you have a healthy relationship to alcohol and have improved in other areas of your life as a result.

How Long Before Your AUD Subsides?

With TSM, most people will feel as though they have control over their drinking in 4-6 months. If you choose to quit drinking, altogether, it can take up to 9 months. TSM boasts a success rate of 78%, better than all other methods for AUD.

Researchers found that patients on the Sinclair Method had fewer cravings and were less likely to relapse than those who were in other treatments. Patients often report a “growing indifference” toward alcohol as they progress through treatment.

Where Can You Find Treatment With the Sinclair Method?

Alcure currently services California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas. If you do not live in these states, visit the C3 Foundation online for more resources.

Who Is a Good Candidate for the Sinclair Method?

The Sinclair Method is effective for alcohol treatment regardless of a patient’s age or severity of the condition. TSM is also helpful for people who have a co-occurring condition or disorder.

These can be anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress. For people who have AUD, the Sinclair Method can be an extremely effective option.

Benefits of Breaking Alcohol Addiction Using TSM

Addiction to alcohol steals your life in more ways than one. Here are some of the benefits of using the Sinclair Method for addiction and gaining freedom from dependency:

  • You don’t have to quit cold turkey
  • No 12-step program
  • Most people won’t notice much of a difference when drinking with naltrexone in their system
  • You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for outpatient recovery programs
  • You decide whether your treatment goal is to reduce drinking or stop drinking
  • You’ll achieve more with your personal goals and activities at home and work
  • You’ll enhanced your social interactions
  • Physical health improves
  • You’ll save money by not spending so much on alcohol

Is the Sinclair Method Right for You?

If you’re looking for an addiction treatment that offers an alternative to traditional 12-step programs, the Sinclair Method will be a good fit for you. TSM is effective for treating AUD regardless of age or severity of the condition, and can work with those that have co-occurring disorders or conditions.

If you are suffering from alcohol dependency, Alcure can help you get your life back. We also integrate wellness concepts into our overall approach so you end up with a healthy relationship to alcohol along with improvements in other areas of your life that were dampened from alcohol addiction. Sign up now, or check out our Blog section for helpful information.

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