– Sinclair method

This is just a quick post to mention that I have another post on which is about Dr David Sinclair who did the research that led to the Sinclair Method using  Naltrexone. Here is a direct link .Probably my biggest regret in recovery is not doing proper research into the many solutions to beat alcoholism when I was younger. I do not blame the medical profession, in my case as I did not discuss my drinking problems with them when I was still drinking dangerously. I did not find out about the Sinclair Method until a few years after I had stopped. This seems to be the case with quite a lot of people. I think it is a great solution for many people, especially those who do not want a spiritual solution.


I have no personal experience of the Sinclair Method, unlike many of the other solutions, as it would require me to drink again to test it, which is something I am not going to try (unless things go wrong!). I have met a wide range of people who have done well after making use of this method. Because of this I asked people from the group to check it all for accuracy, so hopefully it makes sense! They offer great advice about the Sinclair method, should you have any questions.

Some extra links about the Sinclair Method.



Commenting area

  1. Hi there

    I thought this was a very balanced piece. Naltrexone is a very interesting drug. As it’s off patent, and any drug company can make it, there is not a huge amount of incentive to fund double blind studies (which are vastly expensive) but Low Dose Naltexone (LDN) therapy is gaining ground in the whole autoimmune disease field, people with MS, Crohns, IBD, autoimmune thyroid, Lupus etc are finding that it works as an immune system modulator at very low doses (from 0.5mg to 5mg BD) – It also has a positive effect in some cancers. However, as LDN use is ‘off label’ there is even less incentive for proper research to be conducted. See

    it’s also being used in Chronic Fatigue due to it’s affect on microglia overactivation and neuroinflammation see:

    Given what I know re my own story – how my very seriously undiagnosed and untreated autoimmune thyroid disease masqueraded as psychological problems, and affected my ability to metabolise alcohol, I find all this information re naltrexone very interesting indeed.

    However, like anything it is not without side effects in some patients, which highlights the need to work with a good practitioner who will work with you as an individual. Even with LDN therapy (I’m not sure what the dose would be for the Sinclair Method?) patients can have issues with sleep disturbance, and cortisol imbalance – these can be resolved by playing around with the dose and the timing of the dose for those that use a tiny amount daily. As it also affects brain transmitters – which is how it works – then in higher doses in some people over time it can have an impact on mood – which I think is why the Sinclair method is clever as you only take it when you need it, rather than daily (that’s my understanding?).

    There is so much out there that we don’t yet understand about addiction – and we are each individuals, with our own particular set of genes, epigenetics, environment, imbalances, issues, stressors (biochemical, emotional, environmental stressors) etc. It’s great news that strides are being made in this area and we are beginning to understand that substance over use has many drivers, some of them physical, and other options are opening up for people who struggle with substance overuse.

    • Thanks for your comment, I have had some really interesting feedback about this, which has been positive and I will return to it as a topic. One of the reasons as I understand it, that you take it an hour before drinking and not at other times is so that it does not affect other activities that may release endorphins. It is targeting the learnt behaviour of drinking, and you take it an hour before you drink.

      From email and people who got in contact via facebook, there seems to be a lot of people who have done well with this method, after having problems with others and that can only be a good thing. Some seem to have chosen total abstinence after cutting down to zero using the Sinclair Method and then joining other recovery groups for social support. Others prefer to do things on their own. There also seems to be some anger from people in USA that seem to have more problems getting this type of treatment than you would in the UK. Hopefully this can change if enough people are talking about the positive side of this treatment and demand grows.

      This book really gives all the information anyone needs about the Sinclair Method It would be useful for people aiming to use the solution and those treating it. The film “One Little Pill” is also a great source of information

      • GirlScout June 5, 2015 at 1:47 pm · · Reply


        Thanks for your reply. Yes, that’s what I’d read, that daily use like people use antabuse, can affect mood as not only does it block the affect of drinking or using, but it blocks the natural ‘high’ from other healthy activities. It makes perfect sense to use it as you need it. Look forward to reading more on this subject. And yes I have heard finding a practitioner who will prescribe it has been an issue for some. With thyroid the USA is usually far more open minded than here, so it’s interesting that the feedback you are getting re naltrexone is the other way around. Often people can have success with a functional medicine doctor rather than a regular GP if they are finding it hard to find an open minded doctor, as they tend to be much more holistic (as in treat the whole person).


        • I think people do get it muddled up with Antabuse at times. Approaches to treatment are often slow to change and the 12 step rehab industry grew when there was not much else on offer and will take time to take on new ideas, some which have to be driven by the “customer” asking for them. This is actually one of the reasons that 12 step survives, because it is what people ask for because they have not heard of alternatives. Hopefully this will change if the Sinclair method is shown to be effective in countries that do not have a strong 12 step industry. It will take time to change though, and some people will also need support groups.

  2. Hi Girlscout,

    Naltrexone for The Sinclair Method is used at 1 x 50 mg tablet, one hour prior to drinking and (as you say) not on any days when you don’t drink.

    In terms of side effects, they are usually extremely mild and pass within 3 or 4 doses of the medication. These can be eased by using half dose (25 mg) for a couple of sessions and having a good meal before the tablet. Those who suffer most tend to not be very sensible and take the tablet before going out to a bar and drinking a skinful! People should always be aware that although naltrexone is proven to be extremely safe, it is still a medication and care should be taken when first beginning to use it – as someone should with any medication, of course.

    Mostly, people report some slight nausea, a spacey-type of sensation and mild disorientation. Sleep disturbances are also very mild and are usually slight sleepiness or some sleeplessness.

    Low Dose Naltrexone is (I think) in the region of 3-4 mgs of naltrexone. I do not know much about this, but a great site to look at for information on LDN is

    Mike did a great job with this article and it’s brilliant that word is finally getting out about using naltrexone as an option. It has been approved by the FDA in America since the mid 1990’s, but generally as a tool to help with cravings and it is recommended to be used along with abstinence. All the clinical tests done since show it is more effective when used alongside alcohol drinking, but as you rightly mention, no big pharma company are willing to plough lots of money into changing the tablet inserts/FDA recommendations as it is a generic medication.

    Across Europe, a slightly different medication, nalmefene (branded Selincro), has recently been approved to be taken 1-2 hours prior to drinking on an as-and-when basis, when drinking is expected to happen. Though it does not mention The Sinclair Method by name, for all intents and purposes this IS the Sinclair Method protocol.

    However, even knowing this, we are facing an uphill battle to get this prescribed due to its expensive cost and, in some respects, doctors belief that ”abstinence is the only way”.

    C3 Europe.

    • I think we just have to keep plugging away in as many places as possible, so that people here about this. One of the problems in my opinion, is that is not what comes up straight away when people are searching for solutions for alcoholism on the web. You can only find out about it by specific searches and people don’t find out about it. That will hopefully change with time. I will try to come back to this subject as often as I can and have some better ideas on how to get people interested. Talking about the “one little pill” film is an obvious starting point, but there are other ways of bringing it up.

    • Hi Joanna

      Thanks, yes I posted that same link higher up the page as I know quite a bit about LDN (and have taken it myself for my autoimmune / CFS issues) but don’t know much about the Sinclair method. LDN is daily dosing, unlike Sinclair, and that’s why, even at tiny doses (typically 0.5mg up to 5mg daily, people have to find the right dose through trial and error) the sleep issues etc can be cumulative. However, there’s usually a way around it with time of dosing etc. It’s a very interesting drug indeed, and it’s excellent this option – Sinclair – is now there for people who want to do something about their drinking.

      Interesting, LL52 that it’s hard to find info on this topic. It for sure needs to be better known.


Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>