Now available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Texas.
We are one of the largest Sinclair Method providers in the U.S.
What is Pharmacological Extinction? How does the medication also boost wellness?
Pharmacological Extinction uses a selective, FDA approved medication to temporarily block the reinforcing effects of alcohol that drive excess drinking and which eventually cause a physical urge or craving for alcohol. The blocking action is subtle, allowing an easy reduction in the desire to drink.
Established from PET scan medical studies (Positron Emission Tomography), alcohol consumption will cause a small release of endorphins with each sip. It's a barely noticeable effect, but endorphins work as a primary biological reinforcement.
The medication is taken only when you drink and temporarily suppresses the effects of endorphins, disabling biological reinforcement and allowing for an easy decline in the urge to drink. Medically, that's called "extinction." Patients report a gradual indifference toward alcohol. There are no withdrawal symptoms.
Each time the medication eliminates from the body there's an opportunity to strengthen healthy activities supported by endorphin release. Medically, that's called "supersensitivity" of the endorphin receptors. Wellness is supported by engaging in healthy, endorphin-backed activities during the elimination period.
Pharmacological Extinction is also called the Sinclair Method. Sinclair was the name of the researcher that invented the method. Since its discovery, patients and doctors started calling Pharmacological Extinction the "Sinclair Method" for treating Alcohol Use Disorder.
What's it like to drink on the medication?
When you drink on the medication you usually won't notice much of a difference in the overall drinking experience. That's because alcohol acts on other parts of the brain to cause a sense of relaxation that the medication doesn't affect. When you drink on the medication you get nearly the same experience except you leave the endorphins behind, but you won't miss them.
Do I have to "detox" before drinking?
No. You begin treatment right away. Consistent, targeted dosing of the medication is simply woven into your drinking pattern and at that point the process of gradual extinction begins.
Is the medication addictive or does it have side effects?
The medication is not addictive whatsoever. The side effects, if any, are usually minimal and go away quickly.
When is Pharmacological Extinction considered a success? What's the success rate?
Success is reached when the impulse to drink is brought under control and drinking stays within safe levels. In the United States, safe levels are 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men (2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans).
Based on clinical studies, 78% of patients will restore control over their drinking, and this success rate accounts for about one-in-ten patients who do not comply with the medication dosing protocol. Accordingly, with strict medication dosing compliance, the success rate can exceed 90%.
The period to accomplish extinction varies with each person, but most patients will see a substantial reduction in the volume and frequency of drinking within a few months. Extinction is optimized with precision dosing compliance strategies which we teach in our accelerator videos.
How does the Sinclair Method compare to traditional treatment models, such as Alcoholics Anonymous?
Established in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous, sometimes called the 12-step model or a willpower-based model, harnesses self-restraint alone and focuses exclusively on sobriety. AA doesn't employ medication to disrupt the biological reinforcement causing excess drinking. When AA was established modern medicine was still in its infancy.
Self-restraint can work in the early stages of Alcohol Use Disorder. But, after time, the body develops a physical urge or strong desire for alcohol and self-restraint becomes ineffective, and relapse becomes common.
AA still dominates as the first line of treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder, and most patients only discover the Sinclair Method after realizing self-restraint models aren't working for them. For example, over 80% of alcure.me client applicants report prior failed success with AA or similar treatment models.
The Sinclair Method is an emerging treatment model in the United States. It was invented in Europe, from research sponsored by the Finnish government and the same method, using a slightly different medication, was approved for use in the European Union countries in 2014.
Is there a difference between excess drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder, or alcoholism?
"Excess drinking," "problem drinking," "alcohol abuse," "alcohol dependence," "alcohol addiction," and "alcoholism" all refer to the same medical condition called Alcohol Use Disorder. Alcohol Use Disorder is a "spectrum" condition that refers to problem drinking. It can affect anyone at any time and ranges from mild, to moderate, to more intense. Think of it as running on a scale from 0 to 10.
How does pricing and payment work? Do you process medical insurance?
One plan includes physician assessment, continued monitoring and unlimited physician access via email or video chat throughout treatment, all the medication you need delivered directly to you, and our comprehensive accelerator videos sent in three modules to achieve extinction of Alcohol Use Disorder in the fastest time possible and keep relapse away.
Pay monthly. Cancel any time and you are only responsible for the month in which you cancel.
We offer 1-1 coaching or therapist-level support priced separately. If you're interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If you are not onboarded to our platform after assessment we immediately refund your initial month's fee, but virtually all persons are suited for care on our platform and will be onboarded.
Pay with any major credit or debit card, or an employer Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flex Spending Account (FSA) card. We also accept your CareCredit card with the MasterCard logo.
Insurance? If you have medical insurance we'll help you get reimbursed. Upon request, Alcure will provide to you a "superbill" which is a detailed receipt identifying the billing codes used by all insurance companies to process payment, which you may submit to your insurance company requesting full or partial reimbursement.
Do I have to request refills of the medication?
Yes. You'll want to request a refill directly with your Alcure physician when you're down to 7-10 days' worth of medication to account for lead time to communicate with your doctor and up to three business days for delivery of the medication afterward.
You can email your doctor or set up a video chat. Your doctor may ask to set up a video chat for a more personalized visit as well or based on your state's regulations.
How does coaching and therapist-level support work?
We provide over 10 hours of comprehensive tutorial and coaching videos as part of our product and offer 1-1 live coaching or therapist-level support when desired or needed at a separate price (therapy-level support is only offered in CA and CT at this time).
One of the key components of our coaching tutorials is to focus you on compliance with the medication dosing protocol. Compliance with the dosing protocol of the Sinclair Method is key to success. Our tutorial and coaching videos not only cover the dosing strategy in detail but also include coaching on broader strategies to help our clients learn how to make better decisions about their drinking and eliminate secondary causes of Alcohol Use Disorder.
Our videos also provide the benefit of permitting clients to review material particular to them as many times as they would like to cement key concepts and move them further away from Alcohol Use Disorder behaviors. The process can then be hand-tailored even more by offering 1-1 live support, though for most clients our videos are sufficient to teach lasting, effective strategies.
Many clients with Alcohol Use Disorder will have coexisting personal issues that are best addressed by a licensed therapist. Therapists possess at least a master's degree in mental health and thousands of hours of formal clinical experience dealing with a wide variety of personal issues many people experience while also facing an excess drinking problem. Both personal issues and excess drinking will aggravate one another.
Therapy is proactive, where existing client strategies are improved upon, and healing when clients are facing greater difficulties. All forms of therapy are solution-focused.
Live coaching and therapist-level support are priced separately. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Once I get my stuff under control, do I have to keep taking the medication?
Only when you drink. By always following the dosing protocol relapse is avoided. Relapse is common with all other treatment methods. That's why many patients find themselves back in some form of treatment after believing an excess drinking problem is behind them. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 90% of people with Alcohol Use Disorder will relapse within four years after completing conventional treatment.
What happens when I only need a maintenance supply of the medication after therapy is completed?
Clients that have completed treatment and are needing to take just a few tablets of the medication a month or every few months, can "hop off" the platform until it's time for a refill. That's done by requesting to pause recurring payments.
When the time comes to replenish your supply of the medication, you'll simply contact support, advise you are a returning client, and we'll set you up with another video chat with your physician to request a refill.
The process of refilling works as a "check" for your physician to screen for health issues and monitor your drinking pattern, and then update your electronic medical record. It helps to optimize the care they provide by "laying eyes on you" every now and again.
The charge is still the same monthly price, but it becomes a one-time charge. In effect, you "hop off" the platform again until it's time for another refill down the road.
Are there any other charges?
Rarely, and if there are we'll tell you about them in advance. These include things like special lab testing which is sometimes needed while using the medication.
What kind of technology will I need?
A high-speed internet connection, webcam and microphone. Almost all clients prefer accessing our service through a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet--all of which come equipped with a camera and microphone.
Alcure is a Google powered digital health platform to ensure the highest quality in performance with robust data security for your privacy.
Start by downloading Hangouts Meet (not to be confused with just "Hangouts") from your device's app store for video chat sessions. Once installed, it will deploy automatically when using our service. Hangouts is not encrypted for your privacy.
For desktop or laptop access to video chat, download and use the Google Chrome browser to access your email account and and link to video chat sessions. Chrome is a free browser and takes a few seconds to download. If you don't already have Chrome just type "Chrome" into any other internet browser and follow the easy-to-install instructions.
If you'll be using a traditional desktop computer make sure you have a webcam (most of which are also equipped with a microphone).
If you'll be using a laptop most are already equipped with a camera and microphone at the top of the screen.
And if I have any other questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support is managed 9-5 Pacific Time 7 days a week.
We're happy to answer all your questions and respond promptly during business hours.