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. Alcoholism treatment options.
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.
Single and Sober. Anybody who is single will acknowledge that alcohol is a key component of the first date and subsequent dates as you weed through the hundreds of potential mates.
Of all the questions I am asked from people working on controlling their drinking or getting sober is "How am I supposed to date if I don't drink?" If you are someone who is not currently single, this may sound like a silly question but in reality alcohol surrounds virtually every activity that people of all ages partake in. The Moderation Institute has been a blessing for many of my patients who discovered that they did not have to become completely sober in order to get their drinking under control. This alleviated many of the worries but especially the worry of being able to date.
Why is alcohol such an important part of dating and socializing in general? Where do I start! Clearly the number one factor is dreaded anxiety that comes with a first date or dating in general. Sadly though, anxiety as a whole has consumed modern society for a number of reasons to the point that alcohol really operates as self-medication for people's anxiety, worries and fears. Taking a step back, one does not have to think clinically to relate to "loosening up" after a couple of drinks. Who doesn't want to do that? It is very reasonable and when someone is trying complete sobriety, they lose this opportunity.
The second reason alcohol is popular for dating is that it literally creates an opportunity for discussion or interaction rather than the potential awkward silence that is often present. Going wine tasting, whiskey tasting or simply discussing your favorite wine's can be an ice-breaker.
The bottom line is that many people don't pursue getting help with their drinking due to this fear of being unable to date or even unable to participate in a relationship. I always say there is the ideal way life should be and then there is reality. I try to meet people at the reality of their situation so having the option of the Moderation Method for people was an incredible tool.
I wish there was an easy alternative to alcohol for situations like dating, social or work events, sport outings, family parties, or holiday functions. The reality is that alcohol unites people in modern culture and it is frankly difficult to partake in many of these situations without it.
Ideally, as a psychiatrist I would prefer to help people work on their self-confidence, anxiety and social skills. Sometimes, though, people are not ready for the help or simply don't want it. This is why the ability to moderate drinking rather than quit altogether has been a perfect solution for most people.
However, for the people who we help get complexly sober, don't despair, with a little bit of confidence, honesty and creativity, dating is absolutely possible and frankly can be even more fun. So, it depends on the person, their mindset, their willingness to change and their ability to change. Having options for everyone is the key in my opinion.
When I sought out to design the Moderation Method, my goal was to reach as many people as I could to provide help to more people. I accounted for all of the barriers that exist that keep people away from treatment and incorporated it into the Moderation Institute's program.
Alcohol Treatment in Phoenix has Evolved-Shifting the Paradigm
The options in Phoenix for alcohol treatment have expanded to include the Moderation Institute's alcohol treatment program. The unique and first-of-its- kind program allows people who currently are not happy with the amount they drink to moderate or control their drinking.
The Moderation Institute started in Scottsdale and has had tremendous success which, for us, means we have helped a large number of people. We have helped both people who have tried traditionally treatment in the past and people who never sought treatment due to how undesirable the traditional alcohol treatment options are.
The Moderation Method is derived from a method that is long used and proven in Europe called The Sinclair Method. Unlike the traditional Sinclair Method approach in Europe, The Moderation Method has expanded and enriched the method with additional tools which add to the success of the program. In Europe, the approach is typically used to only help people quit drinking altogether. It is not historically used for moderation. However, as a psychiatrist in my own practice, I learned about The Sinclair Method and saw opportunities to improve on the method and reach people who were not interested in quitting alcohol completely.
I customized the approach specifically to deliver the same high success rate of 75-80% with either abstinence or moderation. I have been able to attract so many patients that otherwise would never have gotten any help. These people had a problem with alcohol in some form. From legal issues such as a DUI to being too tired in the morning after drinking too much during the evening. The severity of their drinking problem spans a wide range yet the method is equally effective for everyone.
There are so many counterintuitive components to The Moderation Method and The Sinclair Method that it is understandable why people initially have a skeptical mindset. Here are a few examples of what I consider counterintuitive to traditional alcohol treatment.
You NEED to drink in order for you to stop drinking or moderate your drinking. Yes, I have to literally convince people to continue drinking as the program begins. The method relies on re-programming the addiction center of the brain by using a medication that is taken before you drink alcohol. The medication blocks the addiction center from being stimulated, although you don't perceive any difference in how the alcohol effects you. Essentially you still feel a "buzz." The addiction center which is "behind the scenes," starts to lose interest. As the desire for alcohol decreases, the consumption of alcohol both naturally decreases as well as the implementation of goal-setting and willpower to cut down the amount of alcohol. When someone reaches their desired goal, whether it is abstinence or a moderate number of drinks per day, they begin the maintenance phase of the program.
Another counterintuitive aspect of the Moderation or Sinclair Method of alcohol treatment is the fact that the method is actually more effective if a person started drinking at a younger age. Usually, if someone has been drinking for a longer period of time they are considered a more severe alcoholic and are thought to have a more difficult time with treatment.
The reasoning behind why The Moderation Method works even better for people who started drinking at a young age is that it is more likely that these people have a family history of alcohol use. Having a genetic predisposition which is essentially determined by how many family members have had problems with alcohol.
In conclusion, The Moderation Method requires one to drink alcohol and not to cut down or quit in the first stages of treatment and the method is even more effective in people who traditionally have been deemed more severe cases of alcohol use disorder (aka alcoholics).
The Moderation Institute is excited to expand our program to Phoenix so we can continue helping people succeed at feeling better, regaining control of their drinking and overall living a happier life.
Call us to set up an appointment or ask any questions! (844)-723-5218
The world was once flat? Addiction treatment once was undesirable and unsuccessful. This is the story of challenging the status quo to implement big changes.
Welcome to my challenge. I have challenged the status quo since I was 13. I remember distinctly questioning anything and everything. I was not necessarily always right, and frankly, I was often wrong, but the type of thinking I utilized paved the road for my newest challenge: The Moderation Institute. The key was, the fact that I strived to have "different" thinking was not always better. This concept will become clear as you read through this blog post.
I put you to the challenge to post or reply with an example of how you want to challenge the status quo--something you think is archaic and out-of-touch with modern thinking, something you want to change for the good of the world! Whether locally, nationally or globally, a leader has no barriers. A leader thinks outside the box, and a leader challenges the status quo.
Without people who think differently, we literally would have believed in a world that was flat. That is the first example that comes to mind when I think about how easily human beings will follow the masses. Blind leading the blind, deaf leading the deaf and uninformed human leading uninformed human. This became the basis for true leaders begin challenging the status quo.
Let's start with traits of a leader who challenges the status quo:
Do things differently. Doing things differently doesn't mean doing them better.
Strive to think outside the box and attempt to look at a problem from a different angle than anyone else. Whether you feel your thought is better or not, it doesn't matter. Different is inherently better when it comes to being a leader, and thus, you become one who wants to drive change, rather than "play follow the leader." You WILL have different ideas that frankly do not work, that do not improve upon the current methodology and that offer absolutely no value, however, the benefit is in the thought process itself where your are able to think outside the box.
Don't be a "Yes" Man.
Let's be honest, there are sheep and there are leaders. At the very least, think about what you are agreeing to do, think about WHY you are doing something. Does it make sense? If you agree to do something but cannot think of a logical reason why you are doing it, you are being a "yes" man (or woman).
Be a contrarian.
In short, be someone who goes against the grain. If the majority goes left, you go right. If the majority invests in product A, you look for a Product B. You don't compete in a saturated market filled with many people who have the same idea, you create your own market with a unique idea.
I will tell you this based on my own history. If you cannot take a risk, you will never succeed in the way that a leader succeeds. No risk, no reward. No pain, no gain. With confidence, a plan and the appropriate confidence, you need to go on and take the world by storm.
Think outside the box.
As an exercise, try to look at everyday common issues and think of ways to do things differently. Remember as mentioned above, forget doing things "better." Focus on doing things differently. The mind of a leader is trained, not pre-programmed from birth. While certainly, there are some genetic characteristics to personality traits and some learned behavior we witness as children, the vast majority of leaders are trained and practiced thinkers. Be a thinker is my final word of advice.
Research refines alcoholism treatment options
The Moderation Institute was the product of these various principles being carried out. A lifetime of thinking differently, confidence in taking risks, and a lack of fear, when the masses showed doubt. The Moderation Institute is a product of my frustration with the methodology of addiction treatment in the United States. I started getting frustrated with patients coming, in wanting help with their alcohol use or drug use, but not wanting to pursue the available options.
There is the "perfect" way and there is the "realistic" way. Sometimes, there is a perfect way that leads to the desired results 100% of the time. In those cases, unless the option is realistic and people actually want to engage in the option, the perfect method is meaningless. I learned this while practicing medicine in my own practice. I would often have several necessary treatment options that needed to be implemented, however, the patient would not necessarily want to engage in the plan. I learned that sometimes you need to focus less on the ideal way and work within the confines of reality.
Let's take a look at addiction treatment and alcohol treatment in the United States. The thing that really bothered me was that the recommended way or "perfect" way in terms of a patient doing absolutely everything that they were told, still led to absolutely disappointing results with huge relapse rates and very low success rates. The options were undesirable as well. I found trying to convince someone to engage in a treatment path that was so unsuccessful felt absolutely inconsistent with why I became a physician.
This forced me to search for other approaches and ultimately, I found The Sinclair Method of treating alcohol addiction. I started incorporating The Sinclair Method and modifying my approach to treating alcohol problems in patients. The result was drastically higher success rates with a much more realistic and doable path to reaching the success. Success rates were 75-80% vs. 15% or less with traditional treatment. This would seem like a no-brainer to the addiction treatment community. However, the pushback from the vast majority of treatment providers and people in general was actually surprising. I anticipated the doubt and skepticism, as the success rate was so much higher and the sacrifice to get better was so much less. Despite my presentation of evidence, logic and rational arguments, colleagues were unable to look outside the traditional box.
I had seen great success in my practice thus far, so I knew the truth and I simply got more excited as more people doubted me, since I saw it as challenge to shift the paradigm and dogmatic thinking that has led to failed addiction treatment over the past several decades. I often ask skeptical people this: "If you had cancer, would you be okay with accepting the chemotherapy, surgical and treatment options from 1960 rather than the options from 2017?" I have yet to hear someone say "yes."
I believed in the idea--derived from science and data--and the methodology practiced and proven in Europe for many years. It simply was not accepted in the United States. I set out to change that.
I challenge anyone who reads this blog to think of one idea on how to change the status quo. Instead of being unhappy with the way things are, be excited to find an opportunity to do things differently. As you become a skilled leader, the "different" will indeed become the "better" option and as a leader, you will pave the way to the new way of thinking.
What if you were an alcoholic and didn't even know it? Would your life change?
You may be surprised to know the majority of people who drink alcohol in general ask themselves at some point if they are an alcoholic or not. What is too much? The answer seems to change every couple of years, according to the FDA and a variety of entities who study the effects of alcohol. Red wine is good for the heart, but how much is good for the heart? It is statements like this that has led to mass confusion.
There is a healthy amount of fear that keeps people from over-doing it in terms of drinking, but when it becomes a question, people ask themselves on a regular basis it becomes disruptive to their daily lives. Here is an easy way to know if you are indeed considered an "alcoholic."
1. Do you leave work and get excited to get home and have a drink?
2. Do you use alcohol as your main coping tool for dealing with stress (be honest!)?
3. Do you feel like alcohol is hindering your ability to perform at your best at work (again, be honest with yourself)?
4. Have you ever had a health problem related to drinking?
5. Has anyone every commented that you drink too much?
If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, you would be considered an alcoholic. You may be surprised to learn that there is no actual diagnoses of alcoholic in today's modern psychiatric diagnostic criteria, which we use to make our diagnosis. Instead, we have a spectrum of alcohol use disorders that range from mild to severe. The bottom line is, if you fall anywhere in the range of a mild, moderate or severe alcohol use disorder, you have let alcohol impact your life in a negative fashion.
In reality, it is all a compromise. For example, if you drink a bottle of wine each night and you feel sluggish and tired the next day but are able to complete your work, does that mean you have a problem? The symptom of fatigue and sluggishness is not in and of itself necessarily a problem, but instead it is relative to your own life. For some people, it is worth the trade-off to feel crummy the next day in order to enjoy a bottle of wine each night. Other people may feel that the lack of energy and motivation that costs them the ability to perform at their peak performance, and thus the tradeoff is indeed not worth it.
If you answered "yes" to any of those above questions, stop buying into the belief that you have to have certain symptoms or problems to be considered an alcoholic. You don't have to have problems like having a DUI, needing a drink when you wake up in the morning, drinking every day of the week, blacking out when you drink, drinking hard alcohol, or any other more severe outcome from using alcohol to be considered an alcoholic.
The bottom line is this: I tell my patients who ask me whether or not they are an alcoholic the following, is alcohol causing you any negative consequences in life whatsoever? If the answer is "yes," then you have a problem with alcohol. I steer clear of getting into labeling people alcoholics--or any other labels in general--since I have found people let the shame of the diagnosis overwhelm them to the point they become paralyzed from taking action to fix the problem.
Shame causes people to feel so extremely depressed. People start being extremely hard on themselves, which leads to a domino effect of negativity, hopelessness and ultimately an inability to change. The traditional method to alcohol treatment lumps everyone into the same pile. The reality is, there is not a single diagnoses that captures each and everyone's individual issues.
The Moderation Institute is built upon the foundation I have established over the past three years in terms of treating every single person as a unique individual with their own one-of-a-kind unique struggle. There is NO SHAME, NO GUILT and NO HOPELESSNESS when people come through our program.
People are empowered, hopeful and excited to regain control over their decisions when it comes to using alcohol. I want to challenge everyone to get rid of the thought and label of being an alcoholic and simply recognize that perhaps you may be happier and healthier if you modify your alcohol use to some degree.
That is it! No 12-step program needed, no confessions needed, no higher power needed. If you want to pursue any of those however, I will get you the resources to utilize a great 12-step group and support system. The point is, everything is customized to you.
In conclusion, you don't have to define yourself as an alcoholic. Could your life be better if you had more control over your drinking? IF the answer is "yes," then call us to regain the control you are looking for.
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.
How to Moderate Your Drinking: Effective and Practical Steps You Can Start Today
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Drinking
This one sounds basic but effective strategies are very often basic! Honestly, many of the most effective tools I teach patients are the easiest and most obvious ones. For the first strategy, start with a piece of paper and draw a simple pros and cons table. Under pros, write how alcohol has improved your life over the past three, six and twelve months. Under the cons, put down how alcohol has caused any degree of negativity in your life over the past three, six and twelve months. For both good and bad, document even the smallest positive or negative changes you can think of. You want to start seeing A LOT of data in front of you. Documenting data on paper forces you to look and think about a problem. You cannot minimize a problem when you objectively "measure" the effect it has on your life. You can't escape the data!
With the list you have created, add to the list each day for 14 days the same positives and negatives you have been doing. Since you wrote them down, your brain is subconsciously and consciously recognizing even more ways alcohol is impacting your life. I have yet to see someone at the end of this exercise chalk up more positives than negatives!
Lesson: Put information in front of your eyes, where you can see the effects. This prevents your brain from tricking you into minimizing the negative aspects of drinking.
Set Limits To Your Drinking
Trying to quit “cold turkey” usually doesn’t work, and if it does, the result is a temporary change. Instead of refusing or forcing yourself not to drink at all, you should begin by setting limits. This helps you regain control bit by bit. You can start by assessing how much you drink per day. Again, documenting the data force-feeds the reality of exactly what you are consuming. I have yet to see someone over-estimate the amount they are actually drinking! Keep a text message to yourself, or if you have a really helpful friend, you can document your daily consumption and text it them to add a layer of accountability. At the end of each week, write down how much you drank each day that week.
Tip: Get out a measuring device and literally measure the ounces of alcohol you are pouring into each drink at home. One drink is either 1-1.5 oz. of hard alcohol, 4-6 oz. of wine, or one regular size and strength beer. Guys, don't trick yourselves by counting those IPAs as only one drink as 8 percent alcohol is about twice a regular beer! You will be pleasantly surprised at how this simple logging of data can generate a potent accountability force that will assist you in cutting back.
Once you get a week's worth of data, you can start the gradual decrease in the amount you drink. Everyone gets overly ambitious and starts to cut down too quickly and they ultimately set themselves up for failure. Slow and steady in this case proves to be the most successful method. Try just cutting out half of one drink per day, and do that for a week. Then, proceed to cut down by another half or a full drink and do that for two weeks. Continue decreasing at this slow pace until you meet the goal of your choice.
Lesson: documenting data will hold you accountable. This accountability will generate motivation to change, and the change itself will generate the momentum necessary to sustain the change. Slow and steady wins the race when cutting down.
Avoid Bad Influences and Triggers
Here is another easy one that makes you feel silly because it should be obvious yet so many of us don't recognize this issue. We are all human, and everyone tends to forget the basics. In order to be successful, you will have to avoid bad influences. This means you have to distance yourself from your drinking buddies who tend to over-indulge. Hopefully, you have a few good friends who are sober, or drink moderately and don't completely overdo it, or you hang out with the friends who overdo it, but just not in a setting where alcohol is involved! Make an effort to start hanging out with other people. It’s a great opportunity to try and reconnect with people you perhaps haven't seen in a while, or a chance to make amends and apologize to friends you may have pushed away due to your drinking.
Lesson: "Out with the old and in with the new!" Or at least, be mindful of known triggers and steer clear of bad influences while you are trying to cut back or quit.
Form New Positive Habits
You need a new routine! Clearly, if you are someone who typically comes home after work and grabs a beer to relax while you watch ESPN or Home and Garden TV, you will not be coming home directly after work for awhile! If you do, you better be nowhere near the TV and preferably, you will choose an alternative on the active side since it is much healthier for you!
In order to stop drinking, you need to break your old habits and replace them with healthier alternative. Work on implementing healthier habits as you progress forward. If it is too difficult in the beginning, I understand. Not everyone loves to workout or be active. Keep pushing yourself to implement just one day a week. Build on the frequency from there.
Tip: As awful as it may seem at first, the extra time you now have can be used to get closer to your family since especially in today's age, finding family time is difficult. Now, you can make it a priority for both you and your family. I can tell you, I have seen people succeed at a far greater rate when they used their extra time to spend doing something with their family. It is always something I recommend.
Lesson: Mix up your routine and strive for healthier habits, especially involving more time with the family.
Tell Others About What You’re Doing
If you let other people know you’re trying to stop drinking, you’ll feel more inclined to keep your word. A support system is vital to a successful alcohol recovery. You can tell your most trusted friends and family or even other drinking buddies who you know want to quit themselves. Accountability is a powerful tool especially in the beginning of implementing a change.
Do not Change Your Entire Life and Don't Beat Yourself Up
Change is difficult. Move slowly, find ways to ride the waves of momentum and be driven by motivation that you stumble upon. Take it slow and steady! You will be pleasantly surprised at what you are capable of doing!
Much of this material covered is a crucial part of The Moderation Method. IF you ultimately can't quite make the necessary changes, it would be a great next step to come and be a part of the Moderation Institute's successful alumni!
How to Moderate my Drinking. I Have Failed Before, Why is this Different?
I am the first to admit and preach that trying to control or moderate your drinking is not possible! Many years of practicing psychiatry, as well as living my life as a human being, I know as well as anyone else, that moderating or changing a behavior is really difficulty. Then you combine genetics into the equation and one is set up for standing no chance by themselves at achieving the goal of consistently moderating their drinking.
Over the past three years of my practice, The Sinclair Method has proved to be the missing link in the ability for someone to modify an extremely strong behavior or addiction to alcohol, drugs, porn, sex and anything else that people tend to become addicted to. As much as everyone vows to moderate their drinking each New Year's Day, frankly, the success rate is dismal. That same dismal rate of success for changing a long-standing habit exists outside of New Year's and instead, we as humans fail to change our unhealthy behaviors all of the time.
This leads me into the explanation of why The Moderation Method is so successful, which, in turn, makes it extremely exciting. The brain is complicated, obviously! I will break it down into a couple of easy-to-understand concepts that will hopefully illustrate the point I am going to make regarding why trying to moderate our drinking by ourselves is virtually impossible and the same goes for moderating any other problematic behavior such as moderating watching porn, moderating using drugs, moderating eating snack food...or, you name it!
The Moderation Method uses The Sinclair Method as the foundation of the program and it really takes an approach that attacks the biological aspect of addiction in order to moderate the use of anything or any type of addictive behavior. By addiction, I will clarify that I am referring to any behavior or habit that is something you feel is a behavior that needs adjustment in order to be healthier.
Let's talk about science and neuro-biology for a couple of minutes. The two major parts of the brain are the cortex (which is the massive amount of brain matter that essentially makes human and is on the surface of the brain), and the primitive part of the brain (which is the most deep and primitive part of the brain). In a nutshell, the cortex is what makes human beings different than animals in that it provides us with insightful thinking, logic, reasoning, language, memory and all of the types of special attributes that humans have.
Within the cortex, we have a skill known as willpower which is essentially a skill that we have acquired that enables us to exert control over our behaviors, even if our natural tendency is to behave in a different way. Let's talk about this in the context of drinking alcohol or specifically how to moderate your drinking.
Problematic drinking of alcohol is a consequence of three major components. First, there is a genetic component that dictates the specific circuitry in the brain that is there when one is born. Some brains are more susceptible to becoming addictive to alcohol than other types of brains. This is based on family history and is out of anyone's control.
Second, there is a learned behavioral component that causes our brains to desire alcohol after years of the same routine, which includes drinking alcohol and reaping the reward of alcohol. This reward can be relaxation, a calming effect, euphoria, stress relief, confidence or any positive effect you can imagine. The longer this behavior is continued, the more the brain learns to desire alcohol.
Third, alcohol use is a potent tool for coping with unpleasant emotions and feelings. The origin of the discomfort usually stems from elements occurring during childhood, young adulthood or traumatic adult situations. In short, alcohol helps numb the unpleasant thoughts and feelings we may have.
As much as we all desire to be successful at moderating any behavior, it is frankly an extremely difficulty task. In the case of alcohol, it becomes a: willpower vs. primitive need/drive to cope battle. Ultimately, willpower loses out the majority of the time. This is also why traditional alcohol treatment fails so much of the time. Traditional treatment provides no answer to address the extremely potent drive to drink from the most primitive biological center for driving addiction.
The Moderation Method, which is founded on The Sinclair Method, targets this primitive addiction part of the brain. The method acts by forcing the addiction part of the brain to "un-learn" its desire to use alcohol to cope or to provide such desirable feelings. Over the course of weeks and months, our brains learn to essentially disregard the part of the brain that drives addictive behavior.
With this addictive part of the brain essentially shut down, our willpower is able to drive the behavior and choices that we really want to initiate. This means that we have full control over choosing the behaviors that we want to do. Without this component and very powerful method, willpower is realistically not strong enough to over-power the deepest part of our primitive brain's addiction center.
How do I moderate my drinking or control my drinking? The answer to this question is The Moderation Method since it is the only way we can over-power that potent part of the brain that drives unhealthy behaviors.
The source of much skepticism is the fact that moderation has been tried for decades and decades unsuccessfully. We completely agree that moderation without shutting down the addiction center of the brain is a lost cause. However, with our ability to shut down and control the primitive addiction center of the brain, moderation becomes absolutely possible and this opens up the possibility to stay completely sober or drink moderately--with the equally great success rate of 80%!
Moderating your drinking is now a possibility and a realistic option so do not let people tell you that it is not possible or silly. The Moderation Method will help you achieve your goal no matter what your desire is and help you sustain success over the course of time.
Alcoholism treatment options uk
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Alcoholism Treatment Options in Scottsdale and Phoenix
Alcoholism treatment program options can be quite overwhelming given the sheer number of programs that exist. Inpatient, outpatient, IOP, PHP, 12-step, non-12-step, holistic, trauma-focused and most recently, The Moderation Method. The alcoholism treatment space is extremely competitive and thus each program spends a lot of money on marketing which can further confuse the consumer and make it difficult for them to truly tease out which one best suits their needs.
At The Moderation Institute, we take the approach of letting our product speak for itself by educating people on what we do, how it is truly different and letting people decide. We are confident that our alcoholism treatment program is the most successful approach to controlling your drinking and we believe it will be the go-to method of treatment in the next decade.
Below are some helpful ways to understand the differences between the different types of alcoholism treatment programs in order for you to figure out which of the options may suit your needs.
Inpatient programs can take the form of almost an infinite variety of length of time. Common ones are: three-to-five day alcoholism detox, 30-day inpatient, 60-day inpatient and 6-12 month inpatient programs.
Alcohol detox programs are a short-term period of three to five days that serve the purpose of getting someone off of alcohol in a safe, supervised manner. Medications are used and monitored by staff to ensure the withdrawal symptoms are safely dealt with. People however do not typically get to do much related to improving their lives at this stage.
All of the other inpatient alcoholism treatment programs focus on the same thing, regardless of the length of time. The majority of the programs now are a combination of 12-step group therapy, "trauma-based" treatment and little to no individual work with a therapist. Usually, a psychiatrist sees someone once every few weeks briefly to adjust medication.
In theory, these programs can offer a great benefit but in reality the delivery of the help is done in such a manner that is very much ineffective for the long-term. Trauma-focused programs use large groups to work on each individual's trauma! Large groups are not conducive to doing the necessary trauma work each individual may need. Trauma essentially means anything in one's past that has had some element of trauma to their psyche. It can be severe or mild but either one, especially when one is younger, can have a huge impact on one's psychological health over the course of his or her life.
Inpatient alcoholism programs are very beneficial when someone needs to be taken out of their environment for a period of time if that environment is so chaotic that making any positive changes is simply impossible. This escape can give someone the opportunity to make some positive changes in their own life without dealing with excessive chaos as home in the form of extremely unhealthy relationships, abusive situations, physical/health issues and any other issue that may need close monitoring by staff.
The huge downside to these programs is the following: extreme cost which is often $30k dollars per month, with almost no individual therapy work--even though that is the most crucial type of therapy work needed in the case of addiction--in an environment that is unrealistic in terms of being artificially stress-free. The setting simply does not resemble the life patients have to go home to and apply the skills they may have learned. This is the main reason why sustained sobriety is not common after inpatient alcoholism treatment stays. Finally, although most claim to be "personalized" there are virtually no large inpatient treatment centers that offer a true, 100% customized treatment pathway for each and every individual.
Pros: Removes one from an extremely toxic/chaotic setting to give someone a chance to make positive changes.
Cons: Unrealistic and artificial, making relapse rate high when returning to reality, extremely high costs and no individual planning, and no 1-on-1 treatment.
Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment Programs
There are a confusing number of outpatient programs, which all sound quite amazing when you listen to the marketing. However, through the years of my private practice as a psychiatrist here in Scottsdale, I have learned that while these can be helpful to initially keep someone on track, the minute they end, the relapse rate is extremely high.
They don't lead to any greater success rates than traditional inpatient treatment, which has a less than 10% success rate. The major downfall, in my opinion, is the lack of individual, one-on-one therapy with each patient, which means it is impossible to form a completely individualized treatment pathway.
These programs can be in the form of an everyday regimen from morning until evening or as little as three days-per week. The terms "Partial Hospital Program" (PHP) and "Intensive Outpatient Program" (IOP) can be confusing and are not used consistently among places around the Valley.
There are several great aspects of these programs. Groups can provide a number of people an opportunity meet others who they can relate to, and not feel so alone. They build alliances with other people struggling through alcoholism treatment issues. They may have never been to a program where any education about addiction is done in general.
Pros: More affordable than inpatient, less time commitment, form alliances with people who also are struggling.
Cons: Extremely inflexible for those who work during the day, minimal one-on-one treatment, one-size-fits-all approach and ultimately, the same relatively poor success rate in terms of sustained sobriety.
The newest Alcoholism treatment program modality is The Moderation Method which is the method we offer here at The Moderation Institute. The Moderation Method was designed by Michael Yasinski, MD over the course of the last several years as he constructed a method to meet the following goals: success rate significantly higher than what exists, completely customized plans, flexibility in every possible way one could be flexible, low cost and focus on all one-on-one treatment with both a therapist and a psychiatrist in the form of ten one-hour sessions over the course of three to four months.
The focus on flexibility is worth mentioning again because this is where Michael Yasinski, MD and The Moderation Method have really challenged the status quo. We designed a program that offers equal success to people whether they want to quit drinking alcohol completely or prefer to moderate their drinking in a sustained manner.
We also recognized people cannot put their life on hold to get treatment, even though perhaps they should. Reality, however, is people simply don't seek treatment because the options currently present are not desirable for too many reasons. Our program is a minimum time commitment, outpatient, only ten sessions over three to four months, and focuses on very practical tools which can be easily utilized by patients when they leave the program in order to stay successful.
Pros: Nearly 80% success rate whether you choose sobriety or moderation (this is six to seven times higher than traditional treatment success), the most flexible program available means limited disruption to life, and--most importantly--we construct a 100% customized treatment plan for each patient. We utilize one-on-one treatment to meet these customized alcoholism treatment program goals, compatible with or without 12-step programs, if someone is already participating in one of these programs.
Cons: Must be motivated to take the pill one hour before drinking, and do this consistently, since missing one pill before your drink will result in failure of the program.
In conclusion, our mission has always been to reach more people who need help with their drinking, but currently do not find any of the alcoholism treatment programs desirable enough to actually engage in treatment. We want to reach these people and get them help. Second, we want to provide treatment that is significantly more successful in meeting the goal of each patient, with a 78-80% success rate.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about whether or not The Moderation Institute is the best option for you, or if another option may fit you better. Our demand is high enough that we do not implement any hard selling marketing tactics. Our product speaks for itself. People have been succeeding as we predicted, based on Dr. Michael Yasinski's years of clinical experience with this method.
Please Call The Moderation Institute (844) 732-0038
View our program page to find out more about us.