How it Works — The Sinclair Method is an off-label use of Naltrexone, an affordable generic FDA drug already approved to help stop drinking. In the United States, Naltrexone is almost always prescribed with Orders to “Take every day, and don’t drink”- this protocol is only about as successful as standard 12 Step based programs (10-20% Success Rate).
The Sinclair Method- patented in 1989- and the standard treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder in Finland, and widely used in other European countries, has a Success-Rate of up to 78%- but less than ½ of 1% of US physicians are even aware of it, The Sinclair Method involves a different protocol for Naltrexone: Take 50mg of Naltrexone one hour before drinking- Only on the days that you drink. Using the Sinclair Method and tracking their alcohol usage, many patients see reduced alcohol consumption within the first several weeks, and the great majority within six months. The Sinclair Method gives the majority of patients the ability to moderate their drinking over time, without quitting altogether. Also, since the patient is reducing their alcohol consumption over time, the Sinclair method usually avoids the need for hospitalized detoxing for heavy drinkers.
One of the advantages is that most patients will be able to continue to drink in social situations, should they choose, thus avoiding one of the major issues of total abstinence 12 Step programs. With some patients that choose to, total abstinence is able be achieved over time; otherwise, patients must continue to use the Sinclair Method every time they drink.
Alcohol triggers the production of endorphins, a natural opiate, which stimulates pleasure centers of the brain. Naltrexone blocks these receptors, thus reducing the heightened pleasure from alcohol many people who drink in excess feel, and over time, diminishing the brains desire to over-indulge.