My experience seeing my GP with regards to alcohol consumption and using Selincro

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I've been on these forums for the past few weeks just keeping up to date with other people's experience of using The Sinclair Method of cutting down alcohol consumption.

I initially had no faith in my GP being open to a discussion of this method and was going to try and obtain the drug Selincro (Nalmefene) myself; but I thought I would give it a go with the doc anyway. I was pleasantly surprised he was open to looking into it despite knowing nothing about it. He went away and looked into the NICE guidelines on it. He said it was recommended to be used with some sort of counselling so he referred me to the in-house alcohol counseller. It was a little more surprising that although the in house counsellor had heard of Selincro he had never heard of the sinclair method. He told me his boss had recently stated that patients should abstain from alcohol for a couple of days before starting Selincro. He said it was an anti craving drug and that was how it was to be used. I don't know if abstaining for a couple of days before the Selincro has an effect but at least he didn't say you have to abstain altogether.

It does amaze me though that as someone who drinks too much alcohol I managed to find out about Selincro and order and read a book on The Sinclair Method all within a few days and yet someone who's sole job it is to help people with alcohol issues had never heard of it and didn't know how Selincro is supposed to be used.

He was more interested in pushing me towards AA or non 12 step groups first. I stayed strong and told him I didn't feel these groups would work for me and told him my GP had already said he would give the Selincro a go with me so he agreed it was a good idea to give it a try.

And so finally I obtained the pills today!

I currently take Co-codamol daily for lower back pain so I have to spend the next couple of weeks weening myself off them then stay clear of them. However after 7 to 10 days off Co-codamol I will begin using the Sinclair Method and the Selincro pilss.

I just wanted to let others who have come across Selincro online and are considering giving it a try that it is definitely worth giving your doctor a chance to help you with it first.

I will report back once I have started the Selincro to let you know about by experience with side effects and with its effects on my alcohol consumption.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Thanks for your share. Really interested in hearing how you get on with it. Tried antebuse( drank on it !) tried naltrexone and didn't stop me drinking though when I did binge didn't enjoy wine as much and got ill much more quickly so suppose that's better. After 4 months sober, went on a 2 day blackout binge and now 3 weeks sober. Really need to find out more about this drug and whether to ask doctor for it invade I go on a binge again( which is probably the case!)
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    • Posted

      I would definitely recommend reading The Cure For Alcoholism by Roy Eskapa to find out exactly how to use Selincro to train your brain to no longer crave alcohol in the same way. Also look at posts and comments by Paul on here as he explains it very well.
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  • Posted

    Hi - Im very happy to see that someone else has gone to their GP and had success.  I had the same experience with my GP - he didnt prescribe it the day I asked if I could give it a try, but went away and looked into NICE guidelines and on my next visit was happy to prescribe Selincro to me as a heavy drinker.   I am not an alcoholic and I understand that Selincro should only be given to heavy drinkers as an aim for reduction.  He did say that it was a new drug to Britain and that he had no experience of prescribing it - in fact I was the first - so he had nothing to compare me to other patients.  I am not aware of the Sinclair Method -  I was not told to abstain before I took Selincro and in fact I dont think I would have been able to anyway.

    I did have slight success with selincro, I did cut down, but Im not sure that I was taking it correctly, and I didnt know what to expect.

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    • Posted

      Paul who uses these forums works with helping people use The Sinclair Method. He replied to someone else explaining addiction and the method very well so I kept it. I'm sure he won't mind me posting it here:

      "Imagine two people. Both start drinking in their teens. Both are irresponsible (as teenagers often are). Both get drunk frequently. Both are decent people just doing what kids do. Person A suddenly gets into a relationship and gets a responsible job. He/she then realises that the days of getting drunk and crawling home are over. Too many responsibilities now to carry on behaving that way. The importance of alcohol fades in their life and, while they may occasionally have a glass of wine or a pint of beer, or even have a real heavy session, it doesn't dominate their life anymore. They become a controlled drinker who can drink or not drink.

      Person B also finds a partner and a responsible job, but finds that the alcohol is still important. They have a drink within a few minutes of getting home from work and it doesn't stop at one drink, they may get through a whole bottle of wine, and they feel better for having that. But then they find that, due to an increased tolerance to alcohol, they need more than one bottle to get the same effect, to feel relaxed and, in some cases even, to feel normal. Alcohol continues to dominate their life and everything spirals downward.

      Person A and Person B are different biologically. Person A might like to get a bit merry in a social situation, to relax and have a laugh, but it is not crucial that they do this. If they go weeks or months without a drink, they don't think about alcohol. It's there and they sometimes use it, but they are not bothered if they don't.

      Person B gets additional reward for drinking. Subconsciously, they get more pleasure just from the drinking. It is not used as a social lubricant like it is for Person A, it becomes a necessary coping tool. Coming home to a fridge with no wine in it is likely to cause a bit of a panic. 'Oh no, I have no wine!'

      Physiologically, the difference between Persons A & B is the effect of alcohol on them. In Person B, when the endorphins released by drinking attach to the opioid receptors in the brain, pleasure results which is way beyond the effect that alcohol has on Person A. Even when alcohol causes serious health problems or is so much of a problem that relationships are ruined, that reward is too great to ignore. This is why some people carry on drinking despite knowing that the result of doing so will be devastating to them. THAT is addiction.

      It is only in recent years that this physiological explanation, for why some people get addicted to alcohol and others can simply drink if they want to or stop if they want to, has been considered in medicine.

      The Sinclair Method resulted from such research. By taking a drug that blocks the opioid receptors, preventing endorphins from attaching to them, a person can begin to retrain their brain and unlearn their addiction.

      The Sinclair Method is having success rates of around 78% in Finland. 'Success' is defined as either achieving controlled drinking or abstaining totally from drinking.

      Since the 1930s, people have been standing up in group meetings and taking the blame for their excessive drinking. Accepting responsibility for all the 'terrible things' they have done to their family.

      There are no such groups for people who have other illnesses. I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. I am slightly physiologically different to people who are not diabetic. I don't have to take the blame. People accept that it is not my fault.

      There is a multi-billion dollar global rehab business which relies on repeat customers who have all their dignity and rights taken from them each time they pay thousands to go off and get 'treatment' which consists of them being forced to go to group meetings, not to communicate with anybody in the outside world for a few weeks, to go to bed when they are told and get up when they are told and to accept that everything that has ever gone wrong in their life is their own fault. It's hardly surprising that people involved in this highly profitable business don't want things to change!

      It is not your fault that you have an alcohol problem but, because of the effect it has on your health and your relationships, it is your responsibility to find a solution. By accepting it as a medical issue allows you to put aside your guilt (which will help massively with the psychological damage that years of feeling like a 'bad person' has caused you.)"

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    • Posted

      Sorry odishon, but its all pysco babble to me!!  Has this helped you?  Are you now abstinate?  I have only recently joined this forum looking for info and advice but I do feel that people rely and take too much advice from Paul.  There are many methods for stopping drinking alcohol. 
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    • Posted

      I think you should take more time to read it Pauline before dismissing it. My plan is not to be abstinent. If you read my first post above you'll see I haven't started using the method yet.

      There are indeed many methods for cutting down or giving up but for those of us who always end up back where we started it is very useful to read an explanation of why that may be AND to be given a possible solution to it.

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    • Posted

      Can i just say that my advice is just that, suggestions. I am not forceful in telling people what to do either here or with my own clients. If people find what I say helpful, that is great, if they feel it is rubbish, they are free to ignore it and try other ways.

      I have always made it clear that different things help different people and that people should do what helps them best.

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    • Posted

      Pauline - it sounds like you haven't been reading most of Paul's excellent adive on here. He is a professional additions nurse who runs his own counselling business and who takes time to help other people on here free of charge. What you take away from this is speculative at best.
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  • Posted

    I would report to your GP that the counsellor has no idea about how to use Selincro and that you are being advised to use it in a way that you know it should not be used.

    The worst thing is that this counsellor probably won't go and Google 'The Sinclair Method' to update his knowledge to an acceptable level and will keep muddling through giving people old outdated information as well as information that is complete nonsense.

    Well done to you for having the knowledge to put the 'specialist' to shame smile And good luck with it smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul.

      I felt once I'd told the counsellor my plans he didn't really have a clue what to do with me. He's booked me in for about six weeks time so my plan is to take him some printed material and a reading list!

      Part of my work involves helping people with a visible difference deal with difficult days by teaching them how to use Skin Camouflage Creams to improve the look of their particular problem. I am ALWAYS on the internet researching new products. I don't see how you can enjoy your job without knowing the latest info on your subject.

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    • Posted

      Hi. Just wanted to say thank you to you and Paul for a very interesting, extremely helpful discussion. There aren't lots of ways of freeing yourself of alcohol addiction and lots of help out there. If there was people wouldn't be suffering and dieing of this horrendous disease. It is fantastic that you are taking the time and trouble to help others. So a big thank you to you and all who offer us such much needed help😀
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  • Posted

    this sounds like a great plan and I recommend you for being strong with the so called professionals who ought ot know more than you....well done and keep us posted.            smile
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