A Cure for Alcoholism

July 21, 2011

The Cure for Alcoholism by Roy Eskapa - A Book Review 

 Competency:  Addiction Control Date:  July 20, 2011 

 Cure for Alcoholism!  My goodness.  Either this is a pure hoax or a huge advance, but it most certainly is controversial.  Where on earth does this idea come from?  From what I know only 15% of alcoholics ever get help with some sort of 12 step program, and then only 15% ever succeed.  This book talks about a method that to date has resulted in a 78% cure rate for alcoholics. I bring this book forward because last week we talked about the melanocortin system in our brains and pituitaries.  In brief review, the melanocortin system is the integrative hormonal symphony that blends our energy, our cortisol, our pleasure and our stress responses.  One of it’s products is beta-endorphin, our natural opioid.  And if you take naltrexone, a blocker of opioids, you can get folks to lose weight with a long term approach.  That’s nifty. 

 Well then, this is the same story with a different addiction.   Alcohol is particularly wicked in its destructive capabilities so I’m full of skepticism when I read this book. But now I’m a cautious believer.  I’ve been convinced. This is how it works.  It’s called the Sinclair method.  The method is simple.  Take low dose naltrexone every day and keep drinking.   No judgment.  No punishment.  Don’t change behavior.  Just keep on with your normal addictive drinking.  The naltrexone makes a normal person feel, well, nothing.  A non-addictive person wouldn’t know they had taken a pill.  An alcoholic also doesn’t notice anything either.  But underneath the surface, their brain is being rewired. 

 It does not work in 20 minutes, or even 3 weeks.  It takes three to four months for the wiring in your brain that is caused by endorphin reinforcement and released by alcohol to become deprogrammed.  An alcoholic has neural pathways that make him/her think about alcohol, crave it, and want to drink it.  Those pathways become progressively stronger and more reinforced every time they are bathed in another dose of beta-endorphin that is released by wine, or beer, or gin ingestion.   The naltrexone deprograms that.  It blocks the opiate reinforcement.   

You don’t want to encourage huge quantities of alcohol.  But every small session is another deprogramming session, so frequent episodes of lower response helps deprogram the addicted, hardwired, compulsive alcoholic brain.  In fact, maybe any addictive behavior…? You don’t even have to be an alcoholic to benefit from it.  If you know that you tend to drink a bit more than you want to on occasion, and would like to cut down, you can get yourself in a much better spot by taking the drug before your parties, and you will find yourself gradually being in more control, wanting less alcohol, and drinking less.  (You still can’t drive.) 

 WWW. What will work for me?  Get where I’m going.  How much of your eating is addictive?  Want to lose weight?  Read this book.  See what you think.  There may be more truth in this for many addictive situations.  Which one is yours?  There may be a means by which you can get help.  One more impact of the melanocortin system.  That’s why it’s important to learn about this stuff.   

 Written by John E Whitcomb, MD Brookfield Longevity and Healthy Living Clinic 19585 W North Ave, # 160 Brookfield WI 53045 www.LiveLongMD.com 262-784-5300