Where can I find a prescription to naltrexone?
These organizations provide a directory of physicians who are familiar with using naltrexone following the Sinclair Method - many of which are through telemedicine:
You can also always go to your physician and ask them for a prescription for the medication. It can be helpful to bring materials to your doctor’s appointment that show the science and efficacy of this treatment method - you can find those here. It’s important to note that unfortunately, many physicians are still unaware of this treatment method for alcohol use disorder and may not be willing to prescribe you the medication. If this happens, definitely look at the options on the websites above… and have hope that every day more doctors are becoming aware of this life-saving treatment
What is the most important thing for achieving success with TSM?
The most important thing for achieving success with the Sinclair Method is compliance with taking naltrexone every single time that you drink, and ensuring that you wait at least 1 hour before drinking. This consistency will help you achieve extinction more easily.
Is my drinking bad enough for this method?
This is a common question a lot of people ask – whether or not their drinking is “bad enough” to go on the Sinclair Method or start making changes in their relationship to alcohol. Generally speaking, if alcohol is impacting your life in any negative way – it may be time to consider seeking support. However with that said, seeking treatment is a personal choice that you need to make for yourself. For example, one person might feel satisfied drinking a bottle of wine most nights, while others might feel like it’s impacting their life in a negative way. What’s great about this method is that it can work for most types of alcohol use disorder – whether you’re a weekend binge drinker, daily drinker or just wanting to have more control over the times you do drink. It’s flexible because it’s not abstinence-based and helps a person have greater control over drinking – whether their goal is moderation or abstinence.
Nothing has worked for me before. Why should I try TSM?
The Sinclair Method is an evidence-based treatment that has an efficacy rate of around 78%. That means that it works for most people. It deals with the biological aspects of alcohol addiction by helping undo pathways in the brain that have perpetuated heavy drinking patterns and alcohol cravings; therefore it can make it easier for someone to drink less or stop for good. TSM is also relatively easy to get started – all you need is a prescription to the medication (though having an experienced TSM doctor and external support are very beneficial as well). TSM is not like most traditional treatments where you’ve got to put your life on hold and go away to rehab, or start attending meetings everyday. You can start privately, from the comfort of home. TSM is a method that’s proven highly effective, if you’re considering it, it is worth a shot.
What is the protocol for the Sinclair Method?
The basic protocol for the Sinclair Method includes taking naltrexone or nalmefene 1-2 hours before having a drink of alcohol. According to Dr Roy Eskapa in his book “The Cure for Alcoholism” he states: Naltrexone is taken before drinking for the rest of the patient’s life. A patient does not take naltrexone if he or she is not going to drink.
Help, my drinking is increasing on the Sinclair Method!
Fear not, this is actually a common occurrence in this method. There are a number of reasons this could be happening ranging from continuing old drinking habits, using alcohol to cope with a stressful environment or situation, or not practicing awareness and mindfulness around your drinking. In some cases, this is just a brief occurrence that happens once in a while and it becomes a learning experience for the next time. If you’d like some tips and tricks to navigate this, consider booking a coaching session.
Are there side effects to naltrexone?
In my personal experience and what I’ve seen working with others, most people do not have side effects on this medication. If they do, they are generally mild and go away after they have taken the medication a few times. The common side effects I’ve seen are nausea, sleepiness and upset stomach. Some people do have more intense side effects that take time to go away, or may not ever go away. This is rare. For the full list of side effects, please visit here.
Can you still get drunk on naltrexone?
Yes, a person can still get intoxicated while taking the medication. The medication works to block the endorphin rush from alcohol, but it does not block the intoxicating effects.
Does a person on TSM have to take naltrexone for life?
According to Dr. Roy Eskapa’s book “The Cure for Alcoholism”, he writes:
Naltrexone is taken before drinking for the rest of the patient’s life. A patient does not take naltrexone if he or she is not going to drink.
So, in the ideal scenario someone would commit to taking naltrexone for the rest of their life 1 hour before drinking. I know this can feel daunting at first especially when you’re just getting started, but the truth is – in my experience taking the medication before drinking becomes a new habit that is just something you do before you drink. So, if you’re just starting and concerned about this part, just try not to think about it too much. Once you’re on the method and realize the benefits of the medication, you won’t want to drink without it.
Additionally, in the forward of this book written by Claudia Christian, she states: “You must take it one hour prior to your first drink for the rest of your life if you continue to drink. I cannot stress this enough. Follow the directions—please!”
In my experience working with others, I agree 100% with her statement. Even if a person achieves extinction and is no longer craving alcohol, alcohol addiction can easily be re-learned if a person drinks alcohol without naltrexone. I have seen this first hand many times. Now, if this happens a person can always get back on naltrexone, but why cause yourself the trouble?
How effective in the Sinclair Method?
The Sinclair Method is shown to have a 78% success rate. This is astounding considering AA has about a 5-10% success rate
How quickly does the Sinclair Method work?
The time it takes to see results on this method varies by the individual. Many TSM doctors I know estimate that 9 months or more is a reasonable timeframe for a person to achieve pharmacological extinction from alcohol addiction. The progress on this method takes time and is often gradual and progressive. A person might notice a change in their drinking after their first dose of naltrexone, others it can take weeks or months. It’s important to note that even if a person sees a reduction in their drinking early on, it can still fluctuate for months where at times they will drink more and other times they will drink less. This is because heavy drinking is often a habit and a coping mechanism for many people, so we have to consciously change our behaviors and notice when we are drinking out of habit or to cope. This is where coaching sessions can come in handy.
You can think of TSM like a weight loss journey where the progress is gradual, and changing habits around alcohol (like you would with food) is vital to the success on the method.
So to summarize – for most people, the Sinclair Method takes time. Nine months or more is a reasonable timeframe for a person to achieve extinction – however some can take less, and others take longer. If you’re not seeing any change in your drinking after starting this method, consider booking a coaching session or talk with your doctor about techniques you can implement to help yourself along.