TSM method and trying to quit drinking question

Posted , 10 users are following.


I have been on the TSM method for the past 3 months.  I haven't see any noticeable reduction in my drinking, in fact it may have picked up a bit...however, I have noticed that when I wake up the day after I don't have any cravings and won't drink until the next evening at 9 PM which is my usual drinking time.

My question is - do I need to "try" and not drink?  I've been waiting for something to tell myself not to drink, but in abscense of that its a nightly ritual even if I am not craving it.  So.....should I really give effort for alcohol free days or just continue waiting until I don't feel the desire to drink at all?

I have been totally compliant and look forward to being healthier by not drinking.



0 likes, 16 replies

16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi...I don't know the answers about the Sinclair method...but I am reading your struggles....

    I know they suggest taking the pill an hour before you drink....are you doing that?

    I know this method would not work for me.

    #1...I have a hard time following directions...lol

    #2....anything that makes my drink less desirable...I would just stop it...

    So, I am totally not a good person or advocate for this method.

    But, I hope someone comes along that is either using this method or familiar with this method...enough to help you.

    Welcome...I haven't seen you before.

    • Posted

      Hi Misssy2!

      Yes, I am taking 1 hour before, always.  

      As to your problems with the method, the directions are super easy!  Just take a pill 1 hour before drinking, that's it!  And I really only noticed a difference in the "feeling" of the drink for the first evening...I thought to myself, "well, this isn't fun, I don't know if I am going to make it on this pill".  But I just kept taking it and now I don't notice any difference from drinking now to drinking before the pill.  It is still enjoyable to have a drink.

      Yes, I am new here.  Thank you for the kind welcome!

    • Posted

      Well that is good it didn't take the "fun" out of the drinking for you.

      I think people will come along and say...to keep it up....I have read some of the posts from people taking this and eventually they are having less desire to drink.

      Wait for the experts!  You are in the right place.

  • Posted

    Hi Trin, you just hit me in the head lol it is exactly how I started, thinking ok it is not big deal and then Boom  I became addicted, and now I'm suffering the consequences, my opinion if you drinking every day to relax bad sign. Alcohol it's not a good method to kill anxiety or depression or whatever it's our justification for it.

    Please be careful go to AA meetings that helps a lot if you are not hitting bottom yet.

    My suggestion is quit it NOW before is too late.

    Find a reason why not to,drink again ? Attend a list one meeting with AA in your area it is an open eye trust me. I hope it helps 🙏

  • Posted

    Tim, have you been logging your drinks? Did you notice an initial drop in your consumption when you started TSM? 

    I was a daily drinker when starting TSM in January and remained one till mid June, when I suddenly started having back to back dry days. Along the way, there was good reduction each month, but on a daily basis it was more up and down. But always vectoring down (if plotted on a graph).

    One of the keys for me was to put off my start time, by half and hour at first. I'd take the pill at 4:30 then start at 5:30, and get up to this or that in the meantime. I found that I would forget to start at 5:30, it would stretch out to 6 or 7. I'd follow that by taking the pill later, then it became 8 or 9 till I'd start. Occasionally I'd move the start time back up. But it was never a set time after that. Breaking up the routine like that helped to get my numbers down. 

    After the first drink, slow down the next ones by whatever method you're comfortable with. I was drinking beer, so I'd open the can, take a sip and put it back in the fridge. I'd get up to some small task and eventually I began to forget about my open drink for up to an hour or so. Noticing how you feel and what motivates you to go retrieve the drink is important too.

    Drinking numbs the prefrontal area and that's what we use to decide, ehhh, I really don't  want that next drink. So you really want to be listening for your brain to tell you that, to tell you it's becoming indifferent to more drinking tonight. Act on that, get rid of the remainder of your drink and stop drinking for the night.

    We're too used to ignoring those messages, perhaps because they never seemed to stop us anyway. Now, with the Nal chipping away on the craving, bring the conscious mind back into the game, disrupt the routine, listen for the point of "meh" and act on that. Break it up, bust it up, don't hold the drink in your hand, don't keep the bottle in sight. 

    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, ADEfree.  OK, well that helps a lot and answers the question.  I should be cognitively aware that I should slow down my drinking.  That was one thing that I never could find documenation about, but perhaps I didn't do enough reading.

      I was just waiting for my mind to tell me one day "I don't want to drink anymore", but it sounds like there is defintley a mental compoentnt to it to that you have to try to stop drinking...The pill just makes it actually possible.

    • Posted

      Good deal, Trin! 

      Yes, there are two components of your graph, the horizontal part (number of drinking days) and the vertical part (number of drinks per day). There's a great spreadsheet for this, let me know if you want a copy.

      Naltrexone (or Nalmefene) will handle the horizontal part, as you'll actively run towards the craving if it's around that day. This is the opposite of conventional thinking, but yes, the craving is now your prey. You respond to it with The Golden Rule (take the Naltrexone, wait an hour and have a drink). TSM will control the horizontal, so let that part be what it will. If you don't crave one or the other day, don't take the Naltrexone and don't have a drink. 

      The vertical part of the graph, that's another story. Nal will help you out here too, but you only need one drink per drinking day to move the "Pharmacological Extinction" of your craving a notch forward. If you really want a 2nd, 3rd, etc. drink, pour it, slow down your pace and listen for your brain to tell you it's done for the evening. Just how that comes through might well be peculiar to you. As an example, one night I had an urge to open another beer, but then all of a sudden I became (for lack of a better word) suspcious towards that urge to open another. I even became "suspicous" of the beer can itself, just to show you how odd it can be. So I went with that and stopped drinking for the night.

      Well, neurons that fire together, wire together, so I kept on looking for that "suspicion" and built on that. That was how my brain re-established conscious dialog about my drinking and that helped me put my foot down. What it will be for you might be something different, so keep an eye peeled and expect the unexpected. 

    • Posted

      I would love a copy of the spreadsheet. That is one thing I haven't been doing - counting all of my drinks. I thought to myself if it's going to happen its going to happen (meaning stopping drinking). I guess I should've given it a little more effort and thought. Thanks!

    • Posted

      I'll send you a link to the spreadsheet via PM. Let me know if you run into a problem downloading it.

  • Posted

    Your posting shows that TSM is most certainly working for you, which is great.  It is a process that can take some months to reach it's final conclusion of full extinction of cravings, and you are certainly heading in the right direction.

    Everyone is different, but for me I was around 3 months for my drinking to drop to recognised 'safe' levels, and then another 5 months to fully extinguish any cravings/triggers.

    You appear to be working the method well, but I can understand why you are questioning this.

    The best answer is that you take the pill at the first sign of a craving, wait, and then drinking mindfully.  That means looking for the opportunity to put the drink down earlier than you normally would.  Without the incessant 'more, more, more' screaming in your head, you will be able to find ways to chip away at your usual drinking habit and change things.

    So, rather than trying 'not' to drink, just go about your day as you normally would but ONLY take that tablet if you really begin to feel a craving begin.  Doing it this will will mean that one day very soon you will go to bed and realise that you didn't need to take the tablet!  Great!

    However, if you try and not drink you are then potentially putting yourself in a position of whiteknuckling it sober, in which case your cravings might build so much that you find yourself unable to drink mindfully when you do drink.

    • Posted

      Thank you Joanna for your post.  You have been inspirational to many, I know.  I'll work on drinknig more mindfully.  I drink whiskey, and it seems after 3 drinks its much easier to keep drinking (Drinking past the nal)....but I do believe because of the pill I would be able to put down the bottle after having a drink or two, I just need to break my habitual nature of drinking.

  • Posted

    Hi Trin,

    I will be interested to see how you go on, so I hope you will keep posting. 

    I am like you in that I am a slave to the "nightly ritual".  I never drink before 8 pm and have no desire to do so, but I feel I should try to stop altogether.  I hope it goes well for you and well done for trying.

    Pat xx

    • Posted

      Hi Patricia, I will do my best to keep everyone up to date.  I do feel like I am making progress in the sense that I don't crave drinks anymore. Even though I may be drinking more lately because I'm "allowed" to drink with the TSM method, I do feel like it has had a positive effect in that I don't crave and I feel like I could put down the drink if I really wanted to...the problem is, I don't know if I want to.  Still having "fun" drinking, but its not good to do every day.

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