The Sinclair Method

The History of The Sinclair Method

Sinclair Method: The History of How We Modernized Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction in America has a long history as a huge burden on thousands of people. The Sinclair Method was originally developed by Dr. David Sinclair in America in the 1960’s.  It established “alcohol deprivation effect.” Dr. Sinclair then moved to Helsinki, Finland to continue research. Using specially bred rats predisposed to becoming alcoholic. He concluded that alcoholism is a learned behavior. When a response or emotion has been “reinforced” with alcohol over time, it is a Learned Behavior. Some people (and rats) have genetic traits that lead them to feel more “reinforcement” from consuming alcohol. Eventually these feelings of reinforcement cause uncontrollable cravings.

The Modern Cure for Alcohol Treatment: Dr. Sinclair Started it All

Dr. Sinclair was heavily influenced by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. He studied how Pavlov used bells to condition dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. This was done by rewarding the dogs with food after the bell sounded. Once conditioned, the dogs rewarded with food after the bell sounded, would salivate after just hearing the bell. However, the salivating tapered off when the food stopped. This was referred to as “extinction.” Sinclair believed the the learned behavior of addiction could be removed by way of extinction, too.
Sinclair hypothesized that alcohol produced reinforcement in the addiction center of the brain in a way that was similar to opiates. His research indicated that alcohol produced reinforcement by releasing endorphins that bind with opioid receptors.

Sinclair’s solution to stopping the reinforcement cycle was to block the receptors every time alcohol is used. He began testing opioid antagonists, Naltrexone & Nalmefene, on rats, and then started clinical trials.  Extinction of the impulse to drink takes place over time and has over an 80% success rate for people who use the method properly. It is imperative that those who are on their way to moderating their alcohol usage continue to take their medicine, even if it’s thought that it is not needed anymore. Dr. Sinclair ultimately concluded that in order for this method to work, you need to drink yourself sober, the perfect solution for people who have difficulty staying away from alcohol yet need to change their drinking patterns.

Sinclair Method Success : 5 Steps to Curing Your Drinking

Dr. Sinclair composed five steps to guide you through the de-addiction process and success with The Sinclair Method. First, you must understand and think about addiction in an entirely new way. You must stop thinking of addiction as an incurable, unfixable disease and begin thinking of it as a behavior that can be controlled and moderated like any other behavior. Then, check the severity of your problem with addiction and find out how you can get help. The Moderation Institute in Scottsdale is a premier office offering The Sinclair Method ready to be customized just for you. You won’t need to take any time off work and it is extremely affordable. Work with your doctor to obtain a prescription for naltrexone or Nalmefene. After three to four months - in some cases six months - you will be cured.

Michael Yasinski MD

If the Moderation Method is so Successful, Why Haven't I Heard of it?

The Moderation Who? The Sinclair Method What?

So here is the deal:

As facetious as the title sounds, the reality remains that the majority of people who hear about our program are skeptical. Skepticism is often founded on the question, "why haven't I heard of this if it is so amazing?" This reaction is completely understandable and warranted since both the The Moderation Method and The Sinclair Method are almost completely foreign to the United States. The Moderation Method uses The Sinclair Method as the foundation of the treatment method. The Moderation Method integrates several other therapeutic components that enhance the efficacy of the program. These elements were practiced and honed over the past three years as I have utilized the combination method and achieved the 70-80% success rate Europe has been achieving for more than a decade.

Why such a successful method has never migrated from Europe to the United States is still somewhat of a mystery, but here is my personal experience over the past three years. I implemented The Sinclair Method, and have had the task of educating the population about this new method of treatment, with the goal of re-shaping the approach to alcohol addiction treatment in the United States. I have created The Moderation Method, a.k.a Alcohol Treatment 2.0.

With its 70-80% success rate, The Sinclair Method absolutely towers over traditional treatment in terms of being successful at meeting one's goal and sustaining one's goal. Frankly, traditional treatment offers a disappointing relapse rate of 60-70%, which I believed was not acceptable in this modern day of medical care. Three years ago, I integrated The Sinclair Method into my approach to alcohol treatment, and started the challenge of educating people about this new method.

So why is it unknown to most people in the U.S.? I have come to realize there are three main factors that, sadly, have prevented this model from helping so many people here in the United States. First, The Sinclair Method was literally a patented method until its patent expired only two years ago. The Sinclair Method takes a medication that is commonly used, but the method uniquely utilizes the medicine in a novel way that is different from the typical use of Naltrexone. I learned that the utilization of a medication in a new and novel way that allows one to obtain a process patent, which essentially patents the method in which the medicine is used for a specific situation. In this case, it was using Naltrexone one hour before drinking alcohol with the goal of training the brain to stop desiring alcohol over time. This patent would have made it difficult for any psychiatrist to implement the program in the United States without fear of a lawsuit. Thankfully, the patent has expired!

The second reason The Sinclair Method has not been used in the United States is the reality that we, as a society, have believed in the 12-step approach to treatment and/or the traditional necessity for someone who is struggling with alcohol to quit drinking completely, never drink again and overhaul their entire life in order to be successful. There is no science supporting these modalities, and this typical approach to addiction is analogous to using chemotherapy from 30 years ago to treat modern day cancer! In short, we have ignored the science behind addiction and have not accepted a method of treatment that is founded on evidence, data and experience being successful at a rate of 70-80%.

The third reason is, quite simply, human beings resist change. Usually, I can understand this resistance, as it is consistent with how the human mind operates. In this case, however, the available methods of treatment offer an extremely poor success rate, and thus, resisting change in this one scenario has never made sense to me. Humans are stubborn! What can I say?

My mission with the advent of The Moderation Institute is to bring this evidenced-based, successful approach to alcohol treatment to as many people as possible, in order to really make a dent in problematic drinking that continues to plague society. Keep in mind, the method is not new to me as I have been practicing and honing the method over the past three years, with the same 70-80% success rate. Since I am one physician, patent issues never were a problem but I was limited in terms of how big of a program I could start, due to the patent.

Finally, the culmination of three years of practicing The Sinclair Method and combining the method with specific methods of therapy has led to the launch of The Moderation Institute. Keep in mind, in addition to having a poor success rate, traditional treatment is opposed by 80% of those actually needing help with their drinking. It is too disruptive to their lives, not successful enough, too expensive and does not offer the option to moderate their drinking or quit drinking completely. The Moderation Method incorporates all of these factors to make treatment more desirable to that 80% of people.

Alcohol Treatment 2.0:  successful, proven and convenient.  Finally, the U.S is catching on.

Please read through our website, contact us or request a visit with me to learn more about how the program works. I have been dedicated and am now even more dedicated to spread the word about an option that finally works.

Michael Yasinski, MD