How a rarely used medicine helped one Hollywood star finally stop her problem drinking. Claudia Christian's story from the Daily Beast.
A fascinating 35 minute NPR podcast interview with neuroscientist, researcher, professor, and ex-addict-- Judith Grisel.
"I'm always interested in the mechanisms of things," she says. "And when I heard that I had a disease, I kind of felt naturally that that would have a biological basis, and I figured that I could study that biological basis and understand it and then maybe fix it."
Now it has been 30 years without using drugs or alcohol for Grisel, a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, where she studies how addictive drugs work on the brain. Her new book is Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction.
One Little Pill is a documentary film about the use of generic medications (naltrexone) for treating and curing alcoholics. The primary focus is on The Sinclair Method, which pairs these medications with continued drinking. It was produced by Zard Productions as a film project for the C Three Foundation .
One Little Pill is a documentary film about The Sinclair Method of treating alcohol abuse. The film follows the lives of several people who have suffered from alcoholism, and have been helped by the treatment. Perspectives from scientists, treatment centers, doctors, and a legal prosecutor are also presented.
Alcohol is currently the fourth-highest preventable cause of death in the United States, responsible for prematurely ending the lives of approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women each year. Despite this, the most common treatment for alcoholism is still, essentially, little more than complete abstinence and group therapy. Surely, there’s a better way?
For some people, there is: Naltrexone. A controversial treatment because it still allows the patient to drink, it forms the basis of what’s known as the Sinclair Method, a system for tackling alcoholism developed by addiction specialist David Sinclair.
As drug and alcohol addictions skyrocket, The Business of Recovery examines the untold billions that are being made off of families in crisis by the predatory and exploitative practices and schemes of the healthcare institutions. With little regulation or science, the addiction treatment industry has become a cash cow business that continues to grow while the addiction death rates continue to rise.
Through unique access to internationally recognized treatment facilities, as well as emotional stories of addicts and their families, the film reveals how the treatment industry in the United States preys on addicts with little more than promises of hope and a huge bill.
Published January 1, 2001
Eight double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials in five countries have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of naltrexone as an adjunct in alcoholism treatment. The efficacy depends, however, on how naltrexone is used. Three of the trials tested naltrexone in two ways: (1) with supportive therapy, i.e. support of complete abstinence; (2) with therapy tacitly accepting that relapses may occur and teaching how to cope with them. Although all found benefits from naltrexone with the coping therapy, none of them found any significant benefit of naltrexone over placebo when combined with support for abstinence. These results are consistent with our pre-clinical studies in which naltrexone, naloxone, and nalmefene were effective when paired with drinking but ineffective when given during abstinence. This supported the hypothesis that the primary mechanism involved is extinction (as had been concluded earlier for the effects of naltrexone in opiate addiction treatment), because extinction only weakens responses that are made while reinforcement is blocked. On this basis, it was proposed that: (1) naltrexone should be administered to patients who were still currently drinking; (2) the instructions should be to take naltrexone only when drinking was anticipated; (3) this treatment should continue indefinitely. Subsequently, clinical trials have found that naltrexone used in this manner is safe and effective.
AA Beyond Belief Website- for agnostics, atheists, freethinkers...
AA Beyond Belief is website and podcast, but it’s much more than that. AA Beyond Belief is a refuge, a home in AA for agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, and all others who seek a secular path of recovery within Alcoholics Anonymous. The stories presented here reflect the broad and varied experience of those who choose to walk the secular path in AA.
AA Beyond Belief created a quasi-objective comprehensive critique presentation of the Sinclair method on YouTube.
It's bias-- is only that The Sinclair Method would not be a reasonable and rational course or program for someone in AA who was already abstinent and sober, as the Sinclair Method treatment requires drinking as part of the treatment.
If (or when) an AA follower relapses (or binges), the Sinclair Method would be a consideration as an applicable and useful treatment course, as a relapse ("falling of the wagon") is an eventuality that is almost predictable... considering that the cravings never go away . Such "relapses" are the norm... not the exception (see the companion article), and are a good opportunity for a sufferer to take an alternative avenue to extinguish the cravings for alcohol that are the addiction. The Sinclair Method, however, is antithetical to the practices to AA, so a suffer that has relapsed-- would hopefully be amenable to exploring a new credible avenue of treatment.
In such a scenario-- the AA philosophy of sobriety or abstinence is myth- a temporary status or state of being which is only controlled by the subjects' own willpower or commitment prevailing over the brain's cravings.
Unfortunately, for the greatest percentage of those in AA depending on it as an answer... ultimately it simply works... until it doesn't!
Naltrexone for Alcohol Dependence
When used as a treatment for alcohol dependency, naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication. This allows people with alcohol addiction to stop or reduce their drinking behaviors enough to remain motivated to stay in treatment and avoid relapses. Naltrexone is not addictive.
Long-term naltrexone therapy extending beyond three months is considered most effective by researchers, and therapy may also be used indefinitely. Learn more about alcohol use disorders.
For years, a 12-step program laid out in just 200 words has held a virtual monopoly on the treatment of alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is famous, infamous, global and highly influential, and it's based on giving up booze, completely.
For most people seeking help with alcoholism, abstinence is the only option. That view "is heroic and dangerous, and it doesn't do anything," Wim van den Brink, a spirited Dutch psychiatrist with a flop of white hair and glasses, recently told an audience of researchers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Even in the city that is home to North America's only supervised safe-injection site for heroin addicts, van den Brink's proposal represents a radical departure: He wants to help alcoholics go on drinking, without all the problems.
The cold-turkey approach is deeply rooted in the United States, embraced by doctors, the multibillion-dollar treatment industry and popular culture. For nearly 80 years, our approach to drinking problems has been inspired by the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Developed in the 1930s by men who were “chronic inebriates,” the A.A. program offers a single path to recovery: abstinence, surrendering one’s ego and accepting one’s “powerlessness” over alcohol.
In the interest of fairness and balanced presentation of published articles-- here is a negative article written by a person with an alternative viewpoint... that can easily be refuted and/or discredited:
Hidden Creek Retreat-
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