The Sinclair Method (TSM) is an evidence-based treatment approach for alcohol use disorder (AUD). You do not have to quit drinking. Instead, you take an opiate blocking medication prior to drinking that will stop the euphoria alcohol provides. Gradually over time, this effect returns a person’s craving for alcohol to its pre-addiction state.
Retrain Your Brain
TSM uses the nervous system’s own mechanism to remove the interest in alcohol and the behaviors involved in drinking. Over time, your brain is retrained to no longer crave alcohol. Most who have tried The Sinclair Method have reduced their alcohol intake within 3-4 months. Many of those were able to be 100% abstinent without struggle!
Dr. David Sinclair began his research in the 1960s. Using alcohol-addicted lab rats, he first established what he called the “alcohol deprivation effect.” It is a driving force in alcohol addiction.
Sinclair concluded that alcoholism is a learned behavior. When a response or emotion has been reinforced with the euphoric effects of alcohol over time, it becomes natural for your body to crave it.
Blocking the Effects
Using medication to block the pleasant effects of alcohol helps "retrain your brain" to no longer want alcohol. This helps the patient put down the drink naturally, or have no desire to begin drinking in the first place.
Click here to read Dr. David Sinclair's Definitive Statement featured on our blog.
When utilizing The Sinclair Method, most people will gradually consume less alcohol in one sitting and drink fewer days per week.
"Extinction" is the nervous system’s own mechanism for gradually removing the interest in alcohol and the behaviors involved in drinking. That can happen for 75% of the subjects within 3-4 months.
Over time, the desire to consume alcohol continues to lessen and sometimes ends with complete abstinence. Some will even be able to have a drink if they wish, even if that was not their goal. About one quarter of those on TSM become 100% abstinent.
Stay On It
It is important to note you must continue taking the medication before drinking, even if you feel things are finally under control.
The Sinclair Method: Alcohol treatment that works
Treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) has traditionally followed a one-size-fits-all approach of getting into an inpatient detox facility, AA meetings and then abstinence. While this approach may work for a short period of time, it is typically followed with a relapse that puts you right back where you started. Oftentimes, this cycle repeats itself until it's too late.
Today, advancements in addiction medicine and treatments have given providers new opportunities to learn new-age techniques and methodologies. The most promising is The Sinclair Method (TSM). While the science behind TSM is not new, the treatment approach is: Continue drinking to stop drinking. It is becoming a more acceptable way to treat AUD given the success rate.
While TSM may not be the right approach for everyone, most people will find success in their personal goals to drink less, drink responsibly and not struggle with the urge to continue drinking once they want to stop. Over time, many have stopped drinking all together, even if it was not their original goal - and that's ok by them.
Contact Us For A Consultation
Is TSM the right approach for you to end your alcohol addiction for good? Call or message us to speak directly with our certified treatment providers to learn if The Sinclair Method is a good fit for you.