Christian founded the C Three Foundation to educate the public and medical professionals about the alcohol treatment method.
June 12 marks the first ever Global Sinclair Method Awareness Day, a method for the treatment of alcohol addiction that TV actress Claudia Christian swears by. Christian, best known for her role in the sci-fi series Babylon 5, founded the C Three Foundation after struggling with alcoholism for years and finding a solution in what is commonly called The Sinclair Method (TSM).
TSM involves the use of naltrexone—a medication for treating alcohol or opioid use disorder—one to two hours before drinking. Doing this on a regular basis breaks the behavior-reward cycle that is key to addiction disorders by disrupting the endorphin reward system, blocking the pleasant intoxication when alcohol is consumed.
“Naltrexone does not make one ill from drinking. Instead, the drug removes the incentive to drink, helping the addicted brain to unlearn previous harmful behaviors over time,” says a press release from the C Three Foundation. “’Drink yourself sober,’ is how Christian and others describe the method because one must drink alcohol with naltrexone for the treatment to work.”
According to the foundation, TSM was found to have a 78% success rate after “120 peer-reviewed clinical trials” tested the method. Naltrexone can be purchased in generic form for $1-2 per pill, making it much more affordable than inpatient detox and rehab.
However, the method comes into conflict with traditional addiction treatment methods, which often emphasize abstinence as a necessity and work under the assumption that addiction cannot be “cured” or unlearned.
The problem with TSM, as described by someone who tried it, is that there is always the temptation to skip the pill.
“The problem is that, as someone who loves getting drunk, this begins to take on the connotation of, ‘You aren’t going to be able to have as good of a time tonight if you take this pill,’” wrote Joe Ricchio for The Fix. “For a while, I continue to fire them down the hatch immediately to nip this thought process in the bud as soon as it begins—but eventually my lust for alcohol, the reason I began this process in the first place, takes over and I decide that I will have a few ‘snow days’ from the pill.”
The C Three Foundation’s goal, however, is simply to educate both medical professionals and the general public on TSM so that people with addiction can make an informed choice.
Abstinence and 12-step programs have come under increasing scrutiny as relapse rates reach 40-60%, and an increasing number of people are seeking out alternatives. The foundation believes TSM should be a better-known alternative for alcohol addiction treatment.
“Right now, no one but C Three Foundation is out there educating these medical professionals,“ said C Three Foundation Executive Director Jenny Williamson. “This is one of our biggest challenges to gaining mainstream adoption of TSM.”