Effective treatment comes from understanding why the brain is craving.


Alcohol drinking is a learned behavior. Each time a person drinks, the alcohol causes some neurons to release endorphins (compounds similar to opiates) that reinforce the drinking behavior as well as the craving, feelings, and thoughts about alcohol. Year after year they become stronger until eventually alcohol can dominate one's life.


The Sinclair Method provides the first effective solution to the problem of excessive drinking. It utilizes a new form of medical technology developed by Dr. David Sinclair over the course of 20 years of research in the Biomedical Research Laboratories in Finland (Sinclair et al, 1973; Sinclair, 1974; 1987; 1990; 1997).

The Theory
The Sinclair Method is a proven method that works. It is based on progressively eliminating the desire to drink. This process is called "extinction". It has been known for nearly a century that
there are two opposing mechanisms for changing behavior: Learning and Extinction.

Learning increases the chances of making a response or emotion that has been reinforced with food, water, or some other reinforces including alcohol. Extinction removes the behavior that no longer produces reinforcement.

Alcohol drinking is a learned behavior, and in some cases becomes too well learned. Some people receive so much reinforcement so often (partly because of their genetic predisposition), that alcohol drinking, and thinking about alcohol, come to dominate their lives and cannot be controlled by normal means. Some are classified as alcoholics.

However, many more people are not yet alcoholics, but nevertheless are drinking more than they should and more than they want to. So they will try to "cut down" or they promise themselves that they will "stop" drinking. But they fail, try again, and fail again. They soon >find themselves in a vicious cycle of trying the traditional methods that are promoted as the means to control their drinking. The traditional treatment of the last fifty years, or longer, that to control alcohol, one must first stop drinking.

The Sinclair Method Program
The enjoyment derived from using alcohol involves the opiate system in the brain. Neurons in the brain release endorphins when alcohol is present. Certain prescription medications known as opiod inhibitors, block the reinforcement from endorphins. By following the specific Sinclair Method protocol, drinking and craving are extinguished. It has been proven in other areas that combining medication with behavioral modification, long-term habits that have been engrained for dozens of years can be stopped or reduced to manageable levels. A common example would be the patch called Nicorette® used for smokers. What Nicorette® is to smoking and nicotine, the Sinclair Method is to drinking and alcohol.
The Sinclair Method reduces the desire for alcohol drinking. Taken according to the established protocol it will not make you sick while drinking. In fact, the specific clinical protocols are begun while the client is still drinking, thus eliminating the need for abstinence or detoxification.

Instead, your drinking decreases gradually as the treatment removes the drive for alcohol. It differs from other traditional treatments that impose an external barrier to drinking without removing their internal cause. The Method is designed also to maximize beneficial effects: in most complying cases those who complete and follow the program should provide a long-term successful solution.

The Sinclair Method treatment is provided in an outpatient program. You do not need to undergo detoxification or abstinence prior to starting the program. The program is private and confidential and you do not have to attend weekly self-help meetings unless you desire to do so. Throughout the program you will meet with a medical doctor and a licensed counselor (LMHC). Your response to the medications are monitored. Alternatives to drinking are explored and considered in individual, private counseling sessions.

The program focus is on thinking about the future and the various possibilities provided by a new life style. Client dignity is assured; there is not need for self-effacement since the motivation for alcohol is removed by extinction.

Each client establishes his/her own goals for the program. The general goals are to decrease the dependency upon alcohol drinking and to develop the ability to control one's own consumption. Each client makes his or her own healthy decision to drink less, and stay within moderate limits or stop drinking completely. Using the Sinclair Method, you should not experience any health, personal, social, job, legal, or financial problems due to alcohol. If abstinence is the desired goal the Sinclair Method is the key to success.

Clinical Evidence

The Sinclair Method has successfully helped moderate alcohol drinking in the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden and Denmark where excessive alcohol use are major national problems. Other countries where the Method has been adopted include England, Israel, Russia and Argentina. Dr. Sinclair is a consultant to Florida's SINCLAIR METHOD.

A statistical analysis of the data obtained from clinics in Finland shows highly significant reductions in alcohol drinking -- more than 78%. In Florida the results since 2002 have been more than 85%.. During the treatment program when shown on a graph a pattern emerges. It was always a classical extinction curve: drinking and craving became progressively lower with each week of treatment.
Internationally, hundreds of thousands of people have been successfully treated with the Sinclair Method.

More than 80%of all the clients in the Program were successful in long-term control of their alcohol consumption to abstinence or acceptable levels ("social"). For those who desired to control their alcohol intake, their drinking was reduced to an average of 1 per day. These were individuals who had previously reported their consumption to be 24 to 50 drinks or more per week. Some of SINCLAIR METHOD's successful patients have drank more than 200 ounces per week.


What is the Sinclair Method?