Congratulations on your decision change the role alcohol plays in your life. The Sinclair Method (TSM) is a medical treatment for alcohol use disorder that can also be used to prevent risky drinking from escalating into addiction.
Set Your Goal
Do you want to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, or would you like to completely stop drinking alcohol?
While it can seem overwhelming to set a goal before you see your provider, this will help you during your first appointment if you are able to confidently say, "'I want to reduce my drinking' or 'I want to quit drinking' and I believe the Sinclair Method is my best chance to make that happen."
Read: TSM 101 for New Users
Find a TSM Provider
If you are comfortable speaking with your current family medical provider about reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption, we have resources you can print or forward to your provider to help explain what TSM is and how it can help you reach your goal. Read More: For Your Doctor
If you are not comfortable speaking with your own provider, or if your provider has refused to treat you with TSM, fear not! We have a list of TSM Telemedicine providers that allow you to see a licensed provider in the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere else you have a phone or internet connection. Find A Provider
Recovery is a journey and there will be ups and downs along the way. You are not in this alone. View our support page where you will discover our various support groups and forums dedicated to the Sinclair Method. We also offer personal 1:1 video support sessions with Claudia Christian to answer your support issues. Read More: Resources
Manage Your Expectations
It is important to set and adjust your expectations of success both before and during use of the Sinclair Method. The medication used with TSM is not "magic" and it will not work overnight. Expecting instant results leads to anxiousness and fear that the treatment is not working.
Alcohol didn’t become a problem for you overnight. Most likely, alcohol crept up on you, posing first as a casual friend and then gradually inserting itself into more and more of your life. Reversing the process also takes time, with most people taking 6-12 months to reduce by 50% or more. Read More: Survey of alcohol reduction over time, 100 TSM users
Unlike abstinence-based recovery programs that work on a pass/fail system of sober or not sober, success with TSM is not always as clear as you might like at first. This can cause uncertainty, anxiety, and fear if you have false expectations. Progress does not always follow a straight line, but progress is still progress.
Think of it like an east to west cross-country trip. Sometimes you’re going to have to head north or south because that’s the way the road leads you. You might face detours that turn you in a direction you didn’t necessarily want to go. You could have unexpected delays and wonder if you’re going to run out of gas. These are all normal feelings to have. Don’t let them stop you from taking the trip. As long as you continue toward your destination, it doesn’t matter if you take the long and winding road or the most direct route.
Build Your Recovery Toolkit
The Sinclair Method is not a magic eraser that will instantaneously solve all of your problems with alcohol. It is a process of teaching your brain not to hyper-react to the endorphin reward of alcohol. Some people will need more tools than others, and that’s okay. Everyone is different. It’s important that you customize your tool kit to your individual needs.
- Professional assistance with co-occurring disorders
- Drink Tracking Tools
- Medication adherence tools (get a pill holder key chain)
- Resilience building tools (coming soon)
- Peer support groups (SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, LifeRing, etc.)
- Your TSM provider
- Continued learning (TSM Tips, recognizing and breaking habits, change theories, following research trends, watching videos of recovery experiences, etc.)
Pay It Forward
After you have reached your goals, find some way to pay it forward. The possibilities are endless.