Sinclair Method and Vodka

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Hi.  I’m trying to find info on how vodka works with the Sinclair Method.  My husband is currently 3 solid months (he has only not taken the pill 3 times in 3 months and drank and those were all but 1 in the first month) into TSM with Naltrexone.  He has been compliant with waiting an hour as well.  Biggest issue- He is a vodka drinker.  I am not seeing much change but he says it’s helping he thinks.  I’ve begged him to change to beer or wine.  He won’t.  The cycle I am seeing is this- good all day, comes home from work, takes pill, waits an hour, and then evidently drinks enough to have him tipsy to full on drink depending on the day.  He tends to be this way when he cooks dinner (he is Fe cook in our family) and then doesn’t want to eat.  Falls asleep.  Wakes up and is better.  I am not seeing him drink anymore after that each night.  I have been very supportive of his journey with TSM and tolerated the drunkenness bc he is trying. Encouraged the change to wine/beer or to add vodka to a drink which he occasionally does, he keeps the alcohol away from where he sits in den,  he waits the hour.  I know in my head he is doing a lot to help.  But I’m exhausted. I don’t want my kids seeing this.  And they are very aware.  We’ve been just shutting down the lights once we finish dinner and retiring to the bedroom to watch tv.  Or I try to make our schedule where we ALL go out at night for various things.  He won’t drink then.  And tends to not drink after we get home either.  But I post this to ask...will this work if this is how operates? I mean if continues to be compliant in taking and waiting the hour.  Will he eventually just not want the vodka?  He really seems to be just hitting the vodka hard one time each night and best I can guess possibly drinking 3-4 Oz straight and fast to get that tipsy that fast. I have suggested all I can.  Please tell me if I can just be patient and wait this out, he will make it through to the other side.  If I know that, then I can keep pressing on.    

1 like, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    ^^^that should say full on drunk not drink, he is the cook...don’t see a way to edit. 
    • Posted

      Scooby, don't ask me where I got "Victoria"... I guess I mistakenly picked it up somewhere from the screen. 

  • Posted

    Hi, Victoria!

    Is he tracking his drinks? I feel that's an important part of TSM and helps all involved (especially the TSM'er) see their progress. TSM is very up and down in nature, but there should be a gradual drop in drinking month by month. 

    Some start out with hard liquor and do just fine with TSM, but for others, hard liquor seems to slow progress. I'll send you a link to a post by a fellow that goes by the screen name "Generic" that you can pass on. You might also encourage him to plug into the TSM community at Options Save Lives, so he can ask questions and get feedback and support. 

    But in all, as long as he's taking the pill an hour before, then patience is indeed the watchword. TSM can reverse the programming that alcohol put in the brain over many years and fortunately it only takes months to do so, but it does require persistence and patience. 

  • Posted

    Hi there. This does not seem to be working since he is drinking so much and how many units per day or week?
  • Posted

    Hi Scooby!

    There are two factures at play here:

    Firstly, your husband may have achieved further progress already, had he not been non-compliant a few times.  Even though it was mostly in the first month, the compliance aspect is VITAL to this treatment going smoothly.  However, that is in the past and it cannot be changed now, so as long as he remains compliant in the future, that is the main thing.

    Secondly, this is science and it doesn't matter what alcohol someone drinks, as long as they remain compliant then that weakening of the pathway is happening every time inside the brain and it will eventually weaken enough to break down completely and extinguish the association that alcohol gives a chemical reward.  With compliance, the clinical testing shows that this treatment is effective for nearly 90%, which is much higher than any other treatment out there currently.

    In terms of drinking spirits, the issues isn't with whether the treatment will work or not, the issue is around the drinker getting drunk quicker and then, because they are likely to be intoxicated, it is more difficult for them to 'hear' the signal when the brain says it has had enough for that drinking session.... and if they do hear it, it is more difficult for them to act on it and put the drink down for that session.

    Our experience shows that those who drink vodka and other spirits are more likely to perceive that the treatment isn't working because they are not seeing much forward progress, and so are more likely to give up or go intermittently not compliant.  So, it's not a case of it won't work - it's a case that the drinker is much more likely to go non-compliant before the extinction happens.

    It's a little like someone who is prescribed a tablet to help them lose weight - it will work great but progress will be spotty or even non-existent, if they keep going to fast-food restaurants every day!  At some point, that person is more likely to stop taking the tablet because they are not losing weight.  They will have a much smoother time if they begin to make small changes to their life and start to help the progress along by changing their diet and begin to learn to make better choices in their lifestyle.

    Your husband (and you and the children) will find that if he starts to work in partnership with the tablet, things will go smoother.  Maybe ask him if he would consider changing his drinking just for 1 day initially and then see how that goes?  Small changes all add up!

  • Posted

    Thank you so much for sticking by your husband. He is so very lucky to have you and your help and understanding. One thing maybe happening to him as I personally am struggling with this: after taking the pill and then having a vodka cocktail (I have only 1) I start to make dinner.  (See the habit? All habitt and played out by each other...THIS is what I'm trying to change; the habit part is not easy to break.)

    My problem: by the time dinner is served, I have absolutely NO appetite. I know I must eat otherwise I'll just keep on drinking and getting my empty calories and eventually drink too much. Then black out. Happened this week 3 times. I don't need alot of alcohol to black out because the stomach is empty. I hate myself for this! There is NO weight loss either!!!!

    So now I try to eat while cooking dinner with my cocktail in the other room, skip the happy hour appetizers, and ...sometimes I force myself to eat too. So your husband may have this same issue? Is he eating?

    • Posted

      ​If cooking is stopping you from controlling your drinking then you should stop cooking for a while.

      If you have the resources you might want to consider a week or two of eating out/getting takeaways delivered so that you can avoid drinking on an empty stomach while you cook.

    • Posted

      It's not the cooking, it is NAL as after taking Naltrexone, I feel very tired and take a very short nap; REM sleep within 15 minutes...nap about 20 min. max. Then I'll have happy hour (just 1 drink) and by the time I've cooked dinner and fed everyone and it's MY time to eat, I'm no longer hungry at all and then I'll eat a bit, with wine of course. So now I'm going to try to shake up the routine....I agree with you, that if I had money I'd do the take out/delivery but unfortunately, I have no health insurance, no job, no income, and well...those are some of the lighter issues I face and is one of the reasons I drink ...to escape my reality. Don't want to burden anyone on my issues here.

  • Posted

    I watched a documentary many years ago about doctors treating people with liver failure.

    ?One doctor said to camera that a lot of people thought spirits were worse than beer/wine but he disagreed. He said that ethanol was ethanol no matter how you consumed it.

    ?However, he did think that one specific drink was a warning sign and that was cider. He didn't say why but I'm guessing it's because it's the cheapest way to get as much ethanol as possible.

    ?So at least your husband isn't on the cider. He does need to slow his initial drinking down a bit, or add a large mixer to his vodka. At least he's making an effort and that's more than half the battle.

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