Gradually Reduce Drinking as Shown in the Graph Below

The Sinclair Method involves taking naltrexone to disrupt the reinforcing effects of alcohol that drive and escalate the urge to drink even more. The process of continual, targeted disruption of that reinforcement systematically weakens the urge to drink and gently restores control over drinking.

Established from PET scan medical studies (Positron Emission Tomography), alcohol causes the body to release small amounts of endorphin, the body’s own version of an opioid, with each sip. Though generally not noticeable, these endorphins have the effect of reinforcing the desire for more alcohol. Over time, that can lead to intense urges for alcohol and difficulty stopping drinking once started.

Using the Sinclair Method, naltrexone is taken only when you drink and avoided at all other times. By targeting the naltrexone at drinking, it temporarily suppresses the effects of endorphins and allows for de-escalation of the urge to drink over time. That’s called extinction. Patients report a gradual indifference toward alcohol and are able to restore control and eventually stop drinking if they choose. Most restore control in 4-6 months and will reach extinction in approximately 9 months.

“Medication assisted treatment with naltrexone, the Sinclair Method, appears to be the most effective treatment for alcohol use disorder at this time.”

Clifford Fields, D.O., Emergency and Addiction Medicine