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 Post subject: The Sinclair Method in a Nutshell:A Lay Person's Perspective
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:07 pm
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Some of you who are new to the site may wonder just what life is like using the Sinclair Method. We strongly advise you to read the book, The Cure for Alcoholism: Drink Your Way Sober Without Willpower, Abstinence or Discomfort, by Roy Eskapa, PhD. The book is packed with far more information than we can impart on this site. Here is a summary of what we do, from a lay person who is using the Sinclair Method:

We use Dr. Eskapa's book as our manual. We take the medication naltrexone in a manner that will weaken the neural pathways in our brain that have been built and strengthened by years of drinking alcohol. This process is called pharmacological extinction.

We take 25 mg naltrexone for the first two days, then 50 mg. We take naltrexone one hour before we begin to drink. If we do not expect to drink on a given day, we do not take naltrexone. But we always carry naltrexone with us on non-drinking days, just in case. Dosage is based on the amount necessary for a blockade of all the opioid receptors in the brain. They all must be blocked for pharmacological extinction to take place.

Many of us notice a reduced desire to drink during the first few days. This is fleeting and NOT the Sinclair Method at work. The method works gradually, without our feeling it, over several weeks' or months' time. We know the method is working as we gradually lose interest in alcohol. We do NOT expect any meaningful effect to take place in a few days.

The Sinclair Method does not include meetings, self-help groups or counseling. Such activities are not prohibited or even discouraged; they simply are activities separate from The Sinclair Method. If we were being treated by a mental health professional before we began the Sinclair Method, Eskapa says we should continue. I find it helps to view alcohol addiction as a separate and distinct issue from mental health problems, with each requiring different approaches. Many of us became addicted simply from long-term, regular alcohol consumption and find we regain control over lives as we regain control over our drinking. Many of us who suffer from anxiety and depression will find our anxiety and depression symptoms resolve after a few months into the Sinclair Method.

We drink as we normally do and track our drinking units and the level of our craving. Each week we review our tracking and will notice our drinking and craving trending down after a few weeks. After three to six months, we will have lost our preoccupation with drinking. We will have become de-addicted: We will be cured of our alcohol addiction.

At that point, we will choose whether we wish to be abstinent or continue as the moderate drinkers we have become. We follow what Eskapa calls the Golden Rule: We will continue to use naltrexone one hour before we drink for the rest of our lives. Even if we are abstinent, we will carry a dose of naltrexone, just in case.

The fact that we are cured does not mean we are immune from this disease permanently. Should we start drinking without naltrexone, we probably will become addicted again in a matter of weeks. But there is very little of chance of that, because, as one of us put it, "Taking naltrexone is easy, easy, easy," due to the absence of side effects after, at most, the first few doses. While other treatment modalities have a poor long-term prognosis, Sinclair Method followers continue to see a long-term reduction in craving and in consumption, to a mean of nine drinks per week after three years.

Eskapa advises working with a physician; naltrexone is a prescription medication. Not all of us have followed this advice (due to privacy issues or an uncooperative m.d.) and some have chosen to order naltrexone from an on-line pharmacy such as River Pharmacy. Eskapa's book contains a chapter for medical professionals. Many of us have provided our physicians with a copy of the book, as very few are familiar with the method.

The Sinclair Method is not for those attempting to use naltrexone as an anticraving med; the drug is not very effective when used that way. Besides, success on the Sinclair Method depends on indulging our cravings by drinking, so any anti-craving measure would be counter-productive. The Sinclair Method is not for those who presently are abstinent; if you are able to maintain abstinence, it does not make sense to start drinking, which is required for the Sinclair Method. It is not for those hoping to attain immediate moderation; the process takes 3-6 months.

Naltrexone + Drinking = Cure.


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