Alcohol Addiction The Sinclair Method

Introduction to Dr David Sinclair’s research about Alcoholism Treatment.

Dr David Sinclair’s

Dr Sinclair started his research in America during the 1960s, establishing what he called the “alcohol deprivation effect” which he noted was a driving force in alcohol addiction. Later, after moving to Helsinki, Finland he began to use rats bred specifically with genetic predispositions which would render them addicted to alcohol. In conclusion, Sinclair’s experiments posited that alcoholism is, in fact, a learned behaviour. He found that when a certain response or an emotion has been “reinforced” with the reward of alcohol over a prolonged length of time, it is learned. Some people have genetic traits leading them to feel increased “reinforcement” when alcohol is consumed, eventually creating these uncontrollable cravings.

Sinclair was largely influenced by the work of Nobel Prize-winning Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov was famous for making his dogs salivate on cue when a bell rang. Once the dogs were conditioned to the sound of the bell, they were rewarded with food after, thus creating a learned reaction of salivating at the sound of the bell itself. Over time, Pavlov rang the bell without rewarding his dogs with any food. The learned behaviour of salivating began to taper off. This phenomenon is called “extinction,” Sinclair also believed that the learned behaviours of alcoholism could be removed through extinction as well.

Through his early research, Sinclair hypothesised that alcohol creates reinforcements in the brain, similar to how it does with opiates. His research showed that alcohol created this reinforcement through the release of endorphins which bind to opioid receptors in the brain. His solution to stopping this reinforcement cycle is to block these receptors every time that alcohol was consumed. Sinclair initially tested this theory on his rats, using an opiate blocker called naltrexone, then advanced his theory with clinical trials in humans and his results were very encouraging.

The solution, he discovered, meant that alcoholics could, in essence, drink themselves back to sobriety, providing the perfect, and safest, solution for many alcoholics. The impulse to drink will take time to reduce and successfully works for around 80% of people who use the method properly. It’s very important to note that medication must be taken an hour before drinking alcohol or the treatment is unlikely to work. Over time, the desire to drink will fade and addicts will abstain most of the time or will occasionally have a drink when they wish.

The Five Steps below will equip you with a plan to help break free from drinking compulsively. Curing you of your addiction and allowing you to regain your control over alcohol should not have to be complicated and will not require abstinence. It does, however, require meticulous preparation before, during and after treatment. The Five Steps does not ask you to complete complex psychosocial therapy or an examination of past events to find the cause of your addiction to alcohol. There will be no insistence on psychotherapy, inpatient detoxification programmes, withdrawal, or indeed, abstinence for the rest of your life.


The Five Steps guide you through the de-addiction process:

• STEP ONE – Understanding and thinking about addiction in an entirely new way.

• STEP TWO – Checking the severity of the problem to find out if you need help.

• STEP THREE – Work with your doctor to obtain a prescription for naltrexone or nalmefene (selincro).

• STEP FOUR – Learn about alcoholic beverage measures and keeping a strict record of your drinking and cravings as you begin your journey through de-addiction. Now you will be taking naltrexone or nalmefene before drinking any alcohol. You are no longer addicted – your cravings and drinking levels will decline over time.

• STEP FIVE – After three to four months – in some cases up to six months – you will be cured. Now the goal will be to remain cured after completing the program.

Go on to Step One >

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Alcohol Addiction FAQ's

We offer locations for alcohol rehab centres nationwide, call our team on 0333 444 0434. They will be able to advise you on treatment options available in your area.

This all depends on your personal circumstances. We ask that you contact our team on 0333 444 0434 so that we can fully understand your situation and needs.

We’ll talk you through a short telephone questionnaire designed to help us provide you with the best possible care.

We then set a date and time for your admission and you can look forward to a new start in life.

Absolutely yes, so many people are not even aware they have a mental health problem and many people don’t make the connection in children and mental health. The alcohol can become a ‘solution’ for a persons mental health. At the start it will seem as if the alcohol is quieting the mind, but in time as the addiction progresses it will only add to any mental health problems the person has. It is also difficult to diagnose a person with mental health while under the influence of alcohol.

As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.

There is no definitive cure for addiction. However, rehab can provide patients with the skills needed to successfully manage their addiction and remain sober. Recovery from addiction is never over and patients will need to work on their ability to avoid relapse for the rest of their lives. A high quality addiction rehab programme sets patients up for this process.

Most people can enjoy a casual night out with friends, have one or two drinks and then stop, and they might not drink again for several days. They enjoy a drink, but they don’t NEED it.

If you feel that you would like to talk to one of our experts and see how we can help you, call us on 0333 444 0434.