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  1. #1
    Forum Subscriber. YouKayBee's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    I've been thinking in lieu of a progress thread, and some of the questions I do get asked by PM that it may be useful to post a summary of my experience and success with Naltrexone and the Sinclair Method. Since I'm pretty poor at keeping journals if anyone can fill in any gaps for me that would be most appreciated.

    I originally joined MWO in I think 2007. At the time I'd had recognition of a problem with alcohol for approximately 4 years. I'm in my 30s and started drinking in my teens, mostly socially, developing a binge drinking problem fairly early on but all the time thinking I was simply doing what most other young, english people do these days which is go out and have a good time at the weekend. I also had used recreational drugs, E, Speed that sort of thing and although I never became addicted to drugs, I'd try and take as much as I could to enhance whatever experience I was having - almost always already under the influence of alcohol.

    I first approached my then GP in 2003, told him I thought I had a drink problem and he sent me home with the message if I didn't stop drinking it would kill me, here's 5 days worth of Valium take them and stop drinking. Well that worked didn't it?Within 3 days I was asleep in my dinner.

    So lost a few jobs, destroyed relationships, got into minor trouble with the law, declared bankruptcy and started a long trail of trying most things you could think of. Tried a few overdoses, survived and decided that really didn't work either. NHS kept telling me I wasn't alcoholic, AA I tried several times, various medications and key workers via various agencies, NHS again, drug and alcohol charities. I could stay sober for up to 10 days but the cravings always got me in the end. I went through periods of daily drinking with the odd day off, perhaps these were just long binges. I don't know but they were very boring, I put myself in danger, started developing paranoia and at various times just wanted to die. I turned my first corner in 2010 when I decided I was really fed up, I was going to do something to help myself and wasn't prepared to end up in the gutter. I started by finding a therapist/counsellor who once I got myself AF proved to be invaluable. At first I used all the tools I'd gathered from AA, various private treatment centres, started to understand ODAT and all seemed to go well. In the end the horrendous cravings got the better of me, I had life stresses and gave in after just under 6 months AF. I then went onto a fairly rapid decline and out of desperation (and after reading and being persuaded by some posters in this meds section) started taking baclofen. I was fairly haphazard with it but built up my dose, tried to go AF to manage the side effects which I found to be more disruptive than my actual drinking. It also brought on an extremely wierd form of depression in me, I had some extremely disturbing and odd thoughts, fantasies even during this time and was really struggling with it. I heard of Dr Chick via posts by a member of this forum who used baclofen and Naltrexone with some success. I decided I needed some good advice, my GP knew little if anything of high dose baclofen treatment and so I decided to make contact with Dr Chick so I could obtain some proper support. His fee wasn't out of my reach especially if he could provide me with a prescription(I prefer to do things 'officially' if you know what I mean). I arranged an appointment with him at his consulting rooms in Edinburgh and at his advice set off with a friend. My friend tells me a massive change came over me in Dr C's office. Basically I asked his guidance, was baclofen for me?No he said, from my answers to his questions it wouldn't address the underlying reason that I drank for. He advised me to use the things I'd used the previous year with which I'd achieved 5+ months alcohol free. I then asked him about The Sinclair Method, I'd heard a little about it and would like to try it. I had actually bought a box online, and taken 1 x 50mg dose during a drinking session with no adverse effects. He said he'd be quite happy to prescribe this medication which would be included in his fee. For whatever reason from that moment I felt relief and hope.

    I went back home and started the Sinclair Method. At first I took my 50mg dose in the morning because I did not think I'd be able to wait out the hour once the craving hit, Dr C himself suggested this too. I sometimes did top up this dose later in the day, Naltrexone has a 4 hour half-life and is at it's optimum level in the body 1 hour after ingesting it. Right from my first TSM session my units halved and have never returned to pre-tsm levels. Just to set the scale I would always drink 20-30 units in one session, which could be a few hours, or 12 hours. This dropped to under 15 from the first day and I think it's only ever gone to 16 or 17 on a handful of occasions in the two years since - majority of the time I don't drink at all, or consume between 1 and 10 units depending on the occasion. I've never had the urge to drink the morning after since starting TSM, something I would often do and I stopped doing stupid, dangerous things which was something I used to do a lot when drunk. This is another common reported positive effect of TSM.

    It took approximately 6 months for me to reach what is called the 'cure' point, the point at which I realised I no longer had any cravings for alcohol. During this time I did experience spikes, which are considered quite normal. I also recognised the formation of a daily drinking habit, simply because it was now 'safer' to drink I let myself drink 5 nights out of 7. I decided to use some of my old methods to change this, stuff like going to bed early, locking myself in the house. If I'd taken a dose of Nal but changed my mind about drinking in the hour before (by this time I could wait the hour), I'd not drink. Enforced AF days are something other TSM followers found helped them through a sticking point too.

    Side effects. I never drink without taking Naltrexone and it's quite clear from the research that if you do[drink without it] it results in fairly rapid readdiction. If I drink and take Nal several days in a row I do feel quite flat, at various times I've also suffered from severe Nalovers, and sensitivity has varied too. This always seems to work itself out, passes with time. All of this only serves to reduce my drinking, Naltrexone I believe gives you a break from the physical addiction, so you can then beat the mental addiction yourself - remember we are more complex than rats, we have reasoning which can make us do unreasonable, illogical things.

    Majority of the time I do not feel any need for alcohol, often I'll have a drink and leave it. I'd say I drink much less than friends considered 'normal' drinkers. If anything I'd say naltrexone has put me off alcohol, which considering the hell I went through for alcohol I am quite happy to accept.

    I found nal and the gradual easing off from reliance on alcohol allowed me to learn how to live and deal with life again, and I continued my therapy wanting to learn more about myself, how I tick and improve my relationships.

    Once I'd seen success with TSM I approached my GP with the results, asking for provision via the NHS. She could see how well I was doing so sought advice from a prescribing Dr attached to the local D&A team. He wanted to see me and a 1 hour appointment later was writing to my GP heavily recommending she prescribe naltrexone as per TSM for me. She monitored me for a while, then offered me an unlimited repeat. I probably get through only 4 or 5 boxes of 28 x 50mg in 12 months, the cost of ?1 a pill to the NHS is hardly anything for the benefit it provides, even when I was paying privately I was saving many times the ?30 a month spent in reduced alcohol intake and being able to work every day(previously I had a lot of unpaid sick leave).

    My life and my appearance is completely different these days in so many ways, and friends comment on it a lot. I deal with things a lot better, my mantra is that things happen for a reason and I have recognised a belief system which helps me through each day. Yes life does continue into recovery, there's always going to be problems but you just get on with it. I also know if I'd continued as I had been drinking then I'd most likely be dead right now.

    Any questions?

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  3. #2
    Registered User. Cinders's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Thank you so very much for posting this.

    No magic pill exists, as you well know from experience. But if only a few log in, read this post and try Naltrexone to find it works for them, your contribution is immense.

    Very happy for you, too, btw. :-)

    Love,
    Cindi

  4. #3
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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Hi UK

    Thanks for your candid and detailed post on Naltrexone, and well done on your success. It is really good to hear that this method is working for you long term. I am reading up on Nal at the minute as I am struggling with being not able to think straight on Bac (I really cannot function at work) and I have a packet of Nal on the desk for future trials. (When I went to see Dr Chick he prescribed me Baclofen as I was so assured that I needed it but he insisted on writing a prescription for Nal too as he thought it might suit me better ...)

    So I am taking comfort and will be following your thread. Saw some strange stuff about low dose Nal being good for you (nothing about alcoholism, mind you, just happiness and relief from pain, immume system booster etc!! - might be mad (its in a journal called Medical Hypotheses), but I'll dig out the ref for you, be interested to see what you think

    cheers, JC

  5. #4
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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    UK, Here's pdf link on low dose Nal, in case you are interested

    http://ldn4cancer.com/techpapers/ldn...ty_of_life.pdf

  6. #5
    Registered User. bleep's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Hey UK,

    Thanks for your story, I think that's the first time I have seen it. As one of the initial people who urged you to take baclofen, I am particularly glad that you managed to work it out.

    Luckily there are several routes out of hell, I am pleased that you found yours.

  7. #6
    Registered User. Juan BH's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    UK Blonde- it's great to hear more about your success with TSM and how it played out for you. At some point I will start a thread on my TSM experience and I hope you will check it out. I am certainly no expert on the subject and it would be nice to get your feedback. TSM and baclofen are pretty different and they both have their respective pros and cons. I am not ruling out another attempt at TSM, especially if Nalmefene becomes available in the US. So far the baclofen is proving more effective for me so I'm walking that road to see where it goes.

    I am very happy for you. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. #7
    Forum Subscriber. YouKayBee's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Juan BH;1503967 wrote: UK Blonde- it's great to hear more about your success with TSM and how it played out for you. At some point I will start a thread on my TSM experience and I hope you will check it out. I am certainly no expert on the subject and it would be nice to get your feedback. TSM and baclofen are pretty different and they both have their respective pros and cons. I am not ruling out another attempt at TSM, especially if Nalmefene becomes available in the US. So far the baclofen is proving more effective for me so I'm walking that road to see where it goes.

    I am very happy for you. Thank you for sharing this.
    Yes I'll do that. I'm very aware TSM doesn't work for everyone, all I know is that it was the answer for me and if I can help just one other person get free from the addiction of alcohol, then I'm more than happy to do so.

  9. #8
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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Hi Uk Blonde

    I see even when you did have a spike you did not drink the next day , which is a huge issue for me , I have also seen other people telling the same story ie no drinking the next day and also no more blackouts . Why do you think that is ? ( on the occasions that people have a spike or more to drink on a special night out ) Great summary btw

  10. #9
    Registered User. Samstone's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    thanks for posting... I've been starting to investigate
    SS

  11. #10
    Registered User. Blue79's Avatar

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    UKBlonde's Sinclair Method journey

    Lunbeck seem to be charging about 4 times as much for Selincro (nalmefene).

    From what you say you seem to take it once every 3-4 days at least. (28 x 3|4) /365.

    You are very lucky.

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