I hope to add some more blog posts and even do some podcasts soon, but have been really busy working recently on my own business, and have far less free time than in the past!
The online recovery community has exploded in the last decade with several resources, from apps to forums to blogs. These resources have become integral to the recovery process for millions of people affected by addiction.
Over the next few months, we will be interviewing some of the top-rated recovery bloggers of 2018. These bloggers play a special role in the online recovery community. Not only do they give voice to those affected by addiction, they also provide a way for individuals to connect during their own recovery process.
Our hats are off to the brave men and women who, by writing publicly, break the stigma of addiction, encourage unity amongst those affected by addiction, and provide a place for people to connect, inspire, and heal.
Our first featured top recovery blogger is Mike, of Recovering from Recovery. Nothing short of dedicated, raw, and real, Mike posts about his musings on recovery from alcohol addiction.
Originally born from his desire to find a recovery path that didn’t include the 12 steps, Mike’s blog offers insight into alternative approaches, including non-12-step support groups, resources, and literature.
While he recognizes the value of the 12-step community, he has joined the ranks of many others who have set out to find their own path.
I would recommend reading his site especially if you are interested in The Sinclair Method as Gary has used it well for 5 years now.
Given that I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and have a go at new things, having very recently tried my hand at hosting video podcasts (see HERE), I thought that it would be good to try doing a conventional audio podcast interview and my friend Michael Dempsey of Recovery from Recovery fame kindly volunteered to be my first guinea pig interviewee for this little experiment.
So – without further ado – here’s what we came up with:
I think it turned out alright. Sure, there’s nothing in the way of any real production values… no jingle or anything… but that’s to be expected; and yes, the sound quality leaves a little bit to be desired on my end, but as far as first goes go, it’s not half bad.
I look forward to doing more and would like to thank Mike for not just being a brilliant interviewee, but also (being an experienced podcaster himself) a really good mentor and – last but not least – for lending a hand to clean up the audio for me.
Many, many, many thanks to him for that.
As for the content of the interview itself: I think it’s really good. The last half of the interview, in particular, is really insightful and I got a lot of identification from Michael’s observations of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Also, during the course of the interview Mike has some really useful expert advice for anyone wanting to set up their own recovery blog.
…Okay, well that’s me done for one article and one interview. It’s been a blast.
It was a difficult decision for me to leave AA, even though I was questioning what was going on in meetings and its effectiveness. Other people seem to find this is a problem as well so I am always glad when people are prepared to share their experiences. This new blog looks good and has been started straight after leaving AA. I waited a few years and have a different perspective as a result. I hope this helps those who are struggling in the rooms at the moment and who want to take charge of their own recovery.
I went to my last meeting last week. I am already feeling better, I am less anxious and the near depression I was feeling is already starting to fade. I also noticed that I was frustrated and I don’t know how long I’ve felt that way, thankfully that is fading too.
I told some trusted friends what I am doing, I don’t know why because now I don’t care who knows.
At this point I’ve also decided that from now on even when someone probes my answer will be that I am someone who chooses not to drink. I don’t feel the need to disclose why I don’t drink anymore, I have done my part and given much more than I have taken. I’ve probably also put up with too much over the years too since I chose to live a principaled, virtuous and honest life long before I was in aa and in hindsight, my risk was I chose to be around a lot of people that were not.
Out of my own volition I chose to be around people that told me time and again what kind of person they were. They were usually in almost direct conflict with my personhood. I’ll have to forgive myself and not do that anymore.
All in all, just a few days in and I am feeling better. I am pretty much relieved every time I turn around. I have found gratitude again in most things that were just about driving me crazy.
Here is a great piece – SMART Recovery is waiting for you! This was kindly written for the blog by Heather Valsan.
SMART Recovery is waiting for you!
So.. You have decided you need to enter a rehabilitation program. But which program is the best option for you. There are inpatient rehab programs, AA, SMART recovery and more. Every program is different, and the needs and wants of each patient should be identified before beginning treatment.
One of our favorite programs is SMART recovery. Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a program that offers support while teaching individuals how to manage their addictions. The program targets negative/unhealthy thoughts and beliefs that can arise during recovery. SMART-recovery is considered a self-empowerment program, and that truly helps the individuals going through the program feel like they are in control.
SMART recovery is based off a four-point program. These four points all work together and help the individual reach the sobriety they have always dreamed of.
Point One: Building and maintaining motivation:
It can be exciting to start a new program. You realize how bright your future is and how much potential you possess. It is vital to build and continuing to fostering this motivation because there are moments that will require this kind of strength. During point one, it is common that you will have to reflect on your “bottom point,” and reflect on how far you have come. After you reevaluate your rock bottom moment, you will make a list that helps you visualize all of the benefits that being sober has over your addiction.
Point Two: Coping with urges:
Cravings can come out of nowhere. They can be extremely overwhelming and tempting to indulging. One of the best ways to avoid cravings is to understand what causes them. When you can identify what triggers your addiction based behavior, it will help you avoid falling off the wagon. When you are aware, you can avoid situations where your triggers can arise, and you will be better prepared to say no next time an urge comes along.
Point Three: Managing thoughts, behaviors and feelings:
Addictions and use behavior do not occur on its own. Our brain plays a large part in our attitudes and actions towards our substance abuse. Irrational thoughts are covered during this point of recovery, and individuals learn how to recognize and stop distorted thinking that allows individuals to fall back into old habits. One of the biggest things to learn during this section is to understand why we think the way we do.
Point Four: Living a balanced life:
Taking care of your mental health is essential when trying to maintain a balanced life. In this last step, members learn skills that will help them throughout their future, and long-term sobriety/recovery. Some skills that are highlighted are coping skills, relapse prevention tips, and community resources that can be utilized to reach their long-term goals of living a happier and sober life.
Compared to other programs that utilize a 12 step program, or focus on God being the higher power, SMART recovery allows the individual in treatment to focus their power towards whatever they want. While SMART recovery does have four steps, they are concise and easy to understand, so there is no confusion for the individual trying to reach their long-term goal.
Every individual is different. For instance, some may prefer inpatient drug rehab in Louisville, KY, while some may prefer SMART recovery. It is important to research different types of treatment to determine which program is best for you, or your loved one in need. Recovery is possible, and with programs like SMART recovery, they are helping more individuals reach their goal of sobriety and long-term happiness.
Heather Valsan is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University. Heather has always been passionate about helping people struggling with mental health disorders and worked in the psychiatric and substance abuse field for 10 years. With the growing need for education on addiction resources, Heather combined her nursing knowledge with two of her great loves, communications and writing. She is the host of Recovery Radio, a podcast about substance abuse that provides expert advice from industry leaders in the addictions field. When Heather is not working she enjoys spending her time with her two young children and binge watching Netflix documentaries.
2018 has just begun, and hopefully it will be a good time for people in recovery from addiction. There is certainly a wider range of solutions out there, than have been available in the past, and attitudes are slowly changing away from the old traditional solutions towards more modern, effective answers. The internet and online book selling outlets have been a real game changer for those looking for solutions. In the past it was difficult finding answers.
When I finally gave up the drink 11 years ago, pretty much everybody just went to AA. I did for about a year and a half, but I was not looking for a religious solution. I used AA as a sort of sober collective to be part of, and the social side really helped me along with inspiration from people who had been stopped for multiple years. However, although I found some of the ideas of AA helpful, I did not look at the steps as a valid solution.
I was lucky enough to be able to afford to have some private therapy and CBT became part of the solution for me. This lead to me finding out about Smart Recovery which offers some great ideas that were really helpful for me. I also discovered The Sinclair Method, and it is this solution which I feel has the most potential to really help a huge number of people who wish to commit to dealing with their issues with alcohol.
It does take time for a new solution to get properly recognised and TSM has a long way to go. Because it does not demand abstinence many traditionalists are against it, especially those who make money from the 12 step rehab industry. TSM is cheap and allows an individual to detox safely and with dignity. It does not require the patient to be locked up for as long as their medical insurance allows.
I have experience of many people doing really well with this solution. There are online communities forming such as http://optionssavelives.freeforums.net or this Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingalifeofchoice These are great places to ask advice and learn from other people’s experience. The regulations about the supply of Naltrexone or equivalents, vary around the world, but most people can find a solution after asking advice online. Dr Eskapa has written a great book called The Cure for Alcoholism which explains how TSM works and provides a background on all the research.
As I wrote earlier, it will take a long time for the new solutions to real get a foothold in the recovery world that has become very set in its ways, and is sadly old fashioned. Here is a new site about TSM that spreads the world in Dutch. https://www.sinclairmethode.com It is a beautifully designed site and contains much of the same information as https://www.the-sinclair-method.com.
It is great to see more people talking about this solution especially this month, as many take their first steps into the world of recovery during January. They often find it harder than they think, and TSM may well be the most effective solution out there for them.
Anyway, congratulations for anyone who has decided to do something about their drinking or drugging. Welcome to the world of recovery. The best piece of advice that I can give is to be open minded and do a lot of your own research about the different ways of beating this problem. It is not always easy, especially in the early days, but there is a lot of support out there. We are all different, and need different solutions and support.
I will add the odd piece to the site but also have a few other people who are going to contribute and hopefully I can do a few more podcasts. This site just got a mention here https://freepigeonpress.com/2018/01/06/my-liebster-award-nomination, so thanks Gary! He writes a lot about his great experiences with TSM and also gives advice to people starting out. He is in the film One Little Pill.
I got an email from Ashley, who wrote this great piece on https://www.detox.com and invited me to post it here. I had a good look at the site and thought it had some really useful information and would certainly recommend you have a look, especially if you are starting out on recovery. Thanks again for sending this to me! I hopefully have some other guest posts coming soon as well and hopefully some new podcasts.
PARTICIPATING IN DRY JANUARY? HOW TO DETOX SAFELY FROM ALCOHOL USE DISORDER
As a way to recover from drinking over the holiday season, many Americans are starting their New Year by participating in a public health campaign called Dry January. For light and moderate drinkers, Dry January is often approached as a “reset” that helps them save money, lose weight, and improve their overall health. For heavy drinkers, Dry January can be an ideal time to overcome alcohol dependence, and get back on track with sobriety.
Quitting alcohol is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your health. But detoxing from alcohol cold turkey comes with many risks if you suffer from alcohol use disorder.
Are you participating in Dry January to become sober this year? Here’s what you can do to overcome alcohol dependence safely and with fewer risks and complications.
WHAT IS DRY JANUARY?
Dry January was created in 2013 by a group of 17,000 U.K. citizens who vowed to quit drinking that month. The campaign was registered as a trademark in 2014, and is now widely practiced by other countries including the U.S. and Finland. A 2014 study conducted by the University of Sussex found that 72% of participants who practiced Dry January were able to abstain or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption six months following the New Year.
In the U.S., roughly 15.1 million adults suffer from alcohol use disorder, but only 6.7% receive treatment. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and is linked to an estimated 88,000 deaths every year. But those who struggle with alcohol use disorder and decide to get help as part of Dry January can significantly lower their risk for health problems including liver disease and cancer, and improve their overall quality of life.
THE DANGERS OF QUITTING ALCOHOL COLD TURKEY
Quitting alcohol cold turkey is risky and dangerous, and can cause a number of serious complications. Those who withdraw from alcohol at home without medical care are often putting themselves at great risk for dehydration, malnutrition, and heart attacks. For some, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life-threatening, and lead to seizures, relapse, and death.
Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can occur in those struggling with alcohol dependency, and is most common in those who have been abusing alcohol for more than 10 years. Symptoms of delirium tremens can begin as soon as 48 hours after the last drink, and include confusion, tremors, seizures, and hallucinations. Fortunately, delirium tremens and other alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be minimized and safely treated at an alcohol detox center.
GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP FOR ALCOHOL USE DISORDER
If you or a loved one plans on quitting alcohol as part of Dry January, get help at an alcohol detox center to lower your risk for complications, and to improve your odds of staying sober long-term. An alcohol detox can help you overcome alcohol dependency while being attended to by caring, experienced nurses and doctors who monitor your vitals, and prevent complications before they arise. Some alcohol detox treatments even include the use of medications that can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms to make your recovery from alcohol use disorder more comfortable.
Nobody deserves to overcome alcohol dependence on their own without help — including you. For help with finding an alcohol treatment center, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-483-2193 to speak with an experienced drug abuse counselor. We’ll help you find a nearby alcohol detox center ready to guide you along the path to lifelong sobriety.
Ibogaine and the Benefits of Alternative Addiction Treatment
Over the last decade, drug overdose has become one of the leading causes of death in America. And, with the US declaring a state of emergency, it seems that the opioid crisis isn’t going away anytime soon.
Addiction is not a form of weakness, nor is it something that people actively pursue. Many individuals are seeking help for their addiction with traditional rehabilitation models, but they don’t always work. Holistic methods, like Ibogaine, are helping many addicts break their addiction cycle and move forward in a positive way.
The Current Drug Problem
Opiate addiction is on the rise. But our current system of treatment is not evolving to address this problem.
This means that many addicts get caught in a cycle—in and out of treatment—that doesn’t seem to get them anywhere. Many addicts are left looking for alternative options that can offer new approaches that work for them.
Ibogaine is just one of these holistic alternative treatments. But Ibogaine treats addiction differently by addressing the physical withdrawal symptoms as well as the underlying causes of the addiction.
What is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is an alkaloid extracted from the Tabernathe Iboga plant (and other species in the Apocynaceae family) found in Africa. The Iboga plant has been used for centuries to induce a dream-like state and promote spiritual healing.
The Bwiti in Africa have long believed that consuming the Iboga plant allows them to get in touch with themselves and reach a deeper state of being. Rituals, spiritual rites of passage, and other ceremonies are a big part of the Bwiti religion, and they use Iboga as the key ingredient in their spiritual growth and development.
Ibogaine as a Drug Treatment
Recent use of Iboga has its roots in 1900s Europe, where Ibogaine was first extracted from the Iboga root bark. At first, it was only taken in very small doses and classified as a stimulant—mostly being used by athletes.
In the 1960s, a young heroin addict named Howard Lotsof was exploring psychedelic drugs He was given a dose of Ibogaine by one of his friends. However, he did not expect the Ibogaine to affect his heroin dependence.
After only a few hours, Lotsof no longer felt the need for heroin, nor did he experience any withdrawal symptoms from not using. This was an astounding byproduct of what he considered to be one of the most spiritual experiences of his entire life.
He found that Ibogaine had completely freed him from his heroin addiction, and so he began testing this outcome by giving Ibogaine to his friends who were also heroin addicts.
He went on to study Ibogaine and scientifically research its effects on addiction for the rest of his life. His tests repeatedly demonstrated how profound an impact Ibogaine could have for the world of addiction.
So, what was this impact?
How it Works
Losof, as well as other psychedelic scientific associations, have shown conclusively that Ibogaine has a great deal of promise in targeting heroin and opiate withdrawal symptoms.
While not everything is known about how Ibogaine works, it has been shown to essentially rewire the brain—renewing neural function and minimizing, if not eliminating, the negative effects that opiates have on the brain.
When we become dependent on a substance, the chemicals in the substance replace many of the ones our brain produces naturally. This means that the brain is dependent on a higher volume of chemical intake than it can normally produce.
If we stop taking the addictive substance, the brain’s chemical balance is thrown off, and, while the neurological pathways in the brain adjust, we go into withdrawals.
Heroin and opiate withdrawals are some of the most severe. They can include things like vomiting, nausea, fevers, and extreme body aches—not to mention depression, anxiety, and other major negative emotions.
However, with Ibogaine, the chemical functions of the brain appear to completely reset. This means that receptors are returned to their normal state and there is no need for the brain to adjust. This drastically reduces, and often completely eliminates, withdrawals symptoms.
But Ibogaine goes even a step further.
Ibogaine’s Psychedelic Effects on Trauma
While Ibogaine is targeting the physical withdrawal symptoms, it also puts most addicts in a profound psychedelic state. This is often referred to as a “dream-like state” that allows addicts a unique type of introspection—often directly related to their lives and their addiction.
During this time, addicts often confront decisions they have made regarding their addiction. They also can find therapeutic benefits from facing trauma and other negative experiences in their lives. In this way, Ibogaine can often address the root of the problem, reasons the addict has become an addict in the first place.
No other drug treatment can work on both of these levels to treat addiction.
Is Ibogaine Safe?
Just like with any other treatment, there are risks associated with the use of Ibogaine. The safest way to undergo Ibogaine treatment is with a trained and licensed physician in a modern medical facility.
Proper prescreening and medical testing are necessary to lower the risk of negative side effects associated with Ibogaine. It is never recommended that anyone use Ibogaine without proper medical supervision and prescreening.
Doing What’s Right for You
The most important thing to remember is that achieving sobriety is possible. Every individual is different and will need to find their unique path to recovery. Ibogaine is considered a very extreme treatment, and may not be for everyone. However, it has shown promise in treating withdrawal symptoms and has successfully helped many addicts stay sober for extended periods of time.
Ibogaine is a detox, and an effective one. Combining Ibogaine therapy with proper aftercare and success planning will help increase the chances of success for any addict. Take the time to educate yourself on the options available to you and discuss them with a professional.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up hope. Success and long-term sobriety are possible. Take the time to find the treatment that works best for you or your loved one.
This piece was kindly written by Aeden Smith-Ahearn, thanks so much for contributing to the site!
It is always good to get an email from somebody who has found the site helpful. I got permission from Tim who wrote this to put this on the site. I also used some of the ideas from Rational Recovery http://www.rational.org/index.php?id=36 in my early days of recovery when I was looking for alternatives to AA. I read the Rational Recovery book http://rational.org/shop/index.php and found a lot of the ideas linked in with many of the things I was taught in CBT counselling.
I think Rational Recovery really helped those of us who were not interested in the religious spiritual side of AA, and who did not think that God was going to do anything .
Thanks again for the email and if anybody else wants me put a piece on the site please get in touch. I really do not have the time to do that much these days and would really be repeating myself on many issues if I wrote about the same things. Most visitors to this site are thinking about leaving AA and are searching for alternatives.
Like your site! Thank you for your work and efforts in addressing this important issue. I’d like to get involved. I’ve latched on to Rational Recovery: Hope we can connect.
I was diagnosed at age 15 as an alcoholic. I’m now 52.
That diagnosis has been an ‘evil and corrosive thread’ in my life. It’s hard to admit I allowed myself to accept the disease concept but I did. It’s embarrassing – but it is reality. Here’s what I accepted and continued to believe for 37 years:
• I am afflicted with an unprovable, incurable, fatal and progressive disease
• I am powerless to treat it on my own
• The only prescription to treat this disease is constant support from:
A Higher Power
The AA fellowship
An AA sponsor
Consistent application of the 12 steps in my life
• This disease inexplicably causes me to reach a point where there will be no mental defence against the first drink.
• Unless I hand over my life to an unqualified sponsor, a God of my understanding, and the 12 Steps, I am guaranteed a life of jails, institutions, and death.
• If I do relapse, it can only be because I didn’t apply the above formula well enough or perhaps failing to disclose a deep dark secret somewhere in my life that I can’t identify or am unwilling to admit.
• If I do what I’m told, shut my mouth, and blindly follow my unqualified sponsor’s advice and AA’s program my reward is… wait for it…
• A good chance to stay sober for 1 Day!!!!!
While I admit that for some people, AA does help them stay sober. The issue for me was whether it was helping me achieve total abstinence. Evidence (repeated relapses over 37 years) suggests it didn’t help me then and won’t help me now. I actually believe AA kept me sick by providing an ideal setup/excuse to relapse. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry at AA and the Recovery Movement for the fear mongering that is so prevalent. The good news is that 37 years after that ridiculous diagnosis, I am free. Further, AVRT has allowed me to recognise that the anger I feel toward AA, albeit justified, can be a weak point for my addictive voice to target in hope of preventing me from flawlessly executing my Big Plan. That’s not going to happen. I’m on to my AV and look forward to showing it absolutely no mercy going forward!
Bottom line, it’s time to put on my big boy pants and take full responsibility for my past decisions to continue to ‘relapse’ – I don’t think ‘relapse’ is even the right word to use since it implies some force beyond my control caused me to resign abstinence and resume drinking and using. I drank because I love the effect produced by alcohol. Same thing with drugs. They worked. They allowed me to effortlessly change the way I was feeling. There really are no free passes left for me when it comes to drinking and using. The solution is 100% abstinence for the rest of my life. I’m 32 days in and the hope I feel is indescribable.
I actually went through an exercise of listing the 12 steps out and comparing what AVRT and RR’s alternative.
Here’s what I came up with for Step 1.
AA Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable
The truth – I admit that I love the pleasure of being intoxicated so much that despite clear and indisputable evidence of its guaranteed negative impact on my life – I continued to drink/use.
Let’s be honest here. I drank and used drugs because I wanted to feel pleasure. Alcohol and drugs have always immediately improved the way that I felt. Some of my most pleasurable moments of my life have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is the ‘great fact’ for me. Drugs and alcohol work in that respect. They always have and they always will. History has shown me that the pain created by drinking and drug binges significantly outweighs the brief pleasure I experience when high and the escape I seek is always temporary. The after effect of drinking or using drugs is increasingly more negative and severe. I can no longer safely drink or use drugs. My addictive voice has been a cunning and powerful force in my life, but it has never had the power to compel me to drink or use. Those decisions were mine and I am responsible for them. Most of the problems in my life stem from my unwillingness to address the challenges that come up in life and face them effectively. Not addressing them has created pain and pressure to build up. When the pain or pressure of not effectively dealing with life became greater than the fear of escaping with drugs and alcohol, I decided to take the easy way out to change how I felt with substances.
Anyone who follows this blog will be aware that I am a huge fan of The Sinclair Method, TSM, for controlling drinking. You can see posts about it here. I have seen many people do really well using this method, having had no success beating alcoholism previously. The NBC News programme, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly showed a decent piece on TSM last Sunday. This caused a huge number of people to get in touch with TSM based websites, searching for information. I hope this becomes a regular occurrence.
Here is the piece from Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly
Claudia Christian has also done so much work to promote TSM. There are many related pieces on this blog about her work. She was also interviewed for the Saturday Night piece but it was heavily cedited and just published online. You can see it below in some regions. http://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/1005541955509
I am not generally a fan of The FIX recovery website as it tends to have lightweight contributors. At one time it had an appalling comments section where people were free to attack others, but they seem to have woken up to the fact that this is not appropriate for a recovery based site. They have done a couple of pieces on TSM fairly recently, and the first reflects the TV broadcast.
Dr Eskapa commented on this piece via email so I will put it here:
— In the Fix article Joe Ricchio managed 9 months abstinence – but then the Alcohol Deprivation Effect kicked in while on a trip to Italy — triggers …
In the The Fix article he goes off naltrexone and reverts back to heavy drinking…. this has happened to many ‘patients’ but just at the compulsive drinking behaviour was learned so it can be re-extinguished. Just as one can have the same infection more than once it can be re-treated medically.
Joe Ricchio speaks of ‘hard work’ in remembering to stay on course (adhering to the treatment plan which meany always and only take the medication 1 hour before drinking and only on drinking days) – but a good question might be: is taking diabetes medication, high blood pressure allopathic or herbal medicines, anti-biotics for TB, the 3-in-1 HIV medication every day ‘hard work’…..
Another error so many make and I made at first, and caused David Sinclair much angst, was the automatic assumption that naltrexone or nalmefene are pleasure blockers… the P = PLEASURE WORD. They are not – and people on TSM and naltrexone or nalmefene can still ‘enjoy’ a drink safely.
Most AUD’s (new term for old somewhat pejorative ‘alcoholic’ or ‘drunkard’) – Alcohol Use Disorders do not want to be addicted and do not ‘Get Pleasure’ from drinking especially those daily drinkers…
So in the end it requires motivation by those with medical conditions to adhere to treatments-of-choice which in the case of ‘alcoholism’ ….
But who can argue with this: AA itself claims a 5 % ‘success rate’ meaning zero alcohol at 1 year, other data from NIH, NIDA, WHO, UK Health authorities range from 95 % to 85 % relapse within 1 year.
By contrast, there are over 125 trials published in medical journals such as JAMA, NEJM, Alcohol, Addiction, BMJ and others showing that, only used correctly, always taking the medication 1 hour before drinking for life – but never on no-drinking days or with abstinence – opioid antagonists such as naltrexone or nalmefene can reach around 80 % ‘success rates’ — which means abstinence because there is no craving and no thinking or rumination about the next drink.. a loss of interest .. or WHO safe drinking limits per session and or per week – to the point where the brain is restored, more or less, to its pre-addicted state .. say before the individual walked into a pub and had his or her first drink…. no one has a first drink and becomes addicted. It takes many drinking sessions for the opioid system to be established in the brains of those who are genetically predisposed to alcohol and other addictions.
This was demonstrated in Sinclair’s Finnish government sponsored Alko Labs (now part of the Finnish National Public Health and Welfare Institute, Helsinki during the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s )
There is a long way to go with all of this. I don’t think that rehabs will be able to pretend that the spiritual solution of the 12 steps is the most effective solution to this world wide problem. It is time for proper medical treatment for this issue and TSM can certainly play a huge part.