Question by Alicia: does the sinclair method really work and is it a cure?
I’ve been having problems with AA and other programs. I detox for a while and usually before a year is out I’ve lost control and fallen off the wagon.
Someone suggested the Sinclair Method and I was wondering if it really works.
Answer by Alex
Is it a cure? Not really as you’re always going to be an alcoholic. Is it damn close to being a cure? Yes it is.
One of the problems with detox, rehab, and AA is that oddly enough, going cold turkey on alcohol can often trigger a stronger desire for it than by detoxing by cutting back.
That’s what few people tell you. That you don’t have to go cold, you can detox by slow withdrawal.
Also there is the problem of being a recovering alcoholic. You are an outcast in many ways. As Robin Williams once put it…”I’m a reformed alcoholic. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT MYSELF! No, you have that double vodka, I’ll be in the corner kicking the cat.”
A funny way of saying that you are always going to be tempted when others drink around you. Either that or you’re going to be excluded from certain events because frankly no one wants to be the one that tips you off the wagon.
So how does it work? When an alcoholic drinks, the body produces endorphins which is part of the body’s reward system. This is why people enjoy working out, certain foods, taking risks (roller coaster junkies, extreme sports folks, etc), sex, getting scared at movies, etc. The release of endorphins is the reward that teaches the body to crave more.
So when you drink, you release endorphins which makes the body crave more and this is why we go from cold turkey to drinking anything alcoholic we can get our grubby protuberances on.
What the medication does (Naltrexone is the most commonly used with studies being done on Naloxone and Nalmefene) is to block the release of the endorphins. So you take the pill one hour before you’re going to drink and your body’s reward system blocks the endorphin reward meaning that your body doesn’t get the craving for more.
Yes, this treatment means that you can go out and drink that glass of bubbly at New Years Eve, can drink a toast to the Bride and Groom, go on that Wine tasting in Napa Valley, knock off a pint or two while watching the game at the local sports bar.
Which makes you feel normal again.
There is a problem if you go on it. While it’ll work right off the bat, there is the psychological aspect. You have been an addict for so long that while this works, you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That you’re waiting for the moment of failure to come. It doesn’t, but for a good while you’re going to have to overcome that aspect of you.
Now I say that this is not a cure as you’re always going to have to take the pill before drinking. I’ve been on for almost three years now and still have to take that pill. But while it is not the cure…it’s the next best thing.
You can read about it here from the people who developed it. The cure for Alcoholism by
And there is also “Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction” by Babylon 5’s Claudia Christian which chronicles her descent into alcoholism and her success with TSM
That one I read and saw many similarities to my own descent into madness. Not the details naturally. I’ve never knocked boots with Dodi Fayed
Add your own answer in the comments!
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