Alcohol Abuse Treatment with Naltrexone and the Sinclair Method

The goal with the Sinclair Method is to eventually enable people to either stop drinking or to moderate their drinking.

One of the receptors that alcohol stimulates is the mu-opioid receptor. This is the same receptor that is stimulated by narcotic pain medications such as Percocet and Vicodin. Activating this receptor causes a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure, reward, and euphoria. Naltrexone is a medication that is a mu-opioid receptor antagonist, meaning that it blocks the receptor. If a person drinks while taking this medication, the alcohol will have a much less pleasurable effect.

In the United States, Naltrexone is prescribed as one 50mg tablet that is to be taken every day. At the same time, patients are told to completely abstain from alcohol. With the Sinclair Method, developed and widely used in Finland, Naltrexone is prescribed in a different way. Patients are told to continue drinking as they normally would. At the same time, they must always take one 50mg tablet of Naltrexone one hour before drinking Just as important as the one hour rule. the naltrexone must never be taken on non-drinking days. The main goal with the Sinclair Method is to achieve the process of extinction for cravings for alcohol. With extinction, when a behavior which was pleasurable and positively reinforcing, becomes less pleasurable and less positively reinforcing, the behavior gradually and naturally stops occurring. This gradual process eventually leads to less cravings and less desire for alcohol.

I have found the Sinclair Method to be an effective way to use naltrexone with carefully select patients. The actress Claudia Christian used the Sinclair Method to put her alcoholism into remission. She then founded the C3 Foundation to provide education, support, and resources for use of the Sinclair Method. The C3 Foundation can be found at “One Little Pill”, a documentary movie about the Sinclair Method, and narrated by Claudia Christian, can be found at the C3 Foundation website as well.

Dr. Locketz also facilitates referral and entry into various forms of recovery treatment such as Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP). He also offers injectable Naltrexone therapy. When inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment is warranted, Dr. Locketz will facilitate entry into an inpatient facility.

To make an appointment, call (651) 333-9133.