Claudia Christian has had a hugely successful career as an actress, producer, author and much more. Claudia tells Annie about her own struggles with alcohol use disorder and how after multiple failures with rehabs and other treatment options, she finally found freedom through The Sinclair Method and Naltrexone. She passionately describes her frustrations with the standards of treatment for alcohol addiction and how this resulted in her starting the C Three Foundation with the goal of helping others find the same freedom she did.
Today, I have Claudia Christian joining me. Claudia founded a nonprofit called The C Three Foundation in 2013 and produced a documentary called One Little Pill about The Sinclair Method. Claudia starred in the documentary because she’s been an actress for 35 years, been in you know shows such as NCIS, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, recently in 9-1-1 and you know just an amazing career. I think your take on everything regarding alcohol is just absolutely fascinating and such a breath of fresh air for people. It’s a path of hope where people have tried everything else, but haven’t been able to kind of find that one magic bullet, so to speak. You almost have the magic bullet in some regards.
In my 30s, I became more of a social drinker. Right around my early 40s I noticed that I had a problem and other people noticed that I had a problem. I did the reasonable thing, even though we know you can’t reason with addiction. Traditional treatment dictates that I would have been cured because I quit drinking. I went sober. What happened to me was the alcohol deprivation effect kicked in. So instead of being a regular drinker, I became what’s called a binge drinker and the binges became progressively worse. So I would go from three months sober, six months sober, and then I would relapse and relapse and relapse.
At this point my drinking had changed to a dangerous style of drinking. Where you’re a regular drinker and drinking too much wine every night five nights a week — but then I became a really heavy binge drinker. So that was far more dangerous and more difficult to recover. Next came every treatment option out there – chakras realignment, I tried hypnotherapy at $400.00 an hour, I went to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at $200.00 an hour. I went to a fancy rehab place in Northern California that was $30,000.00 and all of it was just basically to do the 12 steps in a fancy environment.
The 12 steps, as good as they are for other people, didn’t do anything to change my brain. Something had shifted in my brain. I was obsessed with alcohol. Either when I was sober, I was obsessed with the fact that I couldn’t drink, or when I was drinking, I was obsessed with the fact of well when am I going to be able to drink or when is my next drink. Alcohol dictated my thoughts. That’s what really frightened me. Coming from a family of researchers, scientists and doctors, I realized this was not a moral failing. It’s not that I wasn’t praying hard enough for it to go away. I wasn’t engaging in the 12 steps as much as I could. Those methods, not treatments, those ideals didn’t fix my brain. I kept obsessing over it. Even when sober I was (I don’t like this term), but I was a dry drunk. Very bitter and resentful. I started really becoming a hermit and isolating myself. Soon, I couldn’t hang out with my friends because they drank. Eventally, I never went anywhere because there was alcohol everywhere and I was very, very angry.
I was angry that nothing would work for me and that I had concievabley tried everything. That is how I found the Sinclair Method. Would you say to a cancer patient you know the treatment didn’t work, why don’t you try harder to make that treatment work? All of these people are being failed. They are they are being denied a life saving medication and inexpensive generic medication Naltrexone. They are being denied to even try something else if Naltrexone doesn’t work for them. Baclofen, Gabapentin, Acamprosate, Topamax… All of these medications are available and doctors don’t use them and it makes me crazy, as you can tell. I’m slightly passionate about. If we made a better effort to treat addiction with the Sinclair Method and medication we may see greater, longer lasting results.
The Sinclair Method
I’ve been on the Sinclair Method since 2009 and it is a very simple method that involves taking Naltrexone one hour prior to the first drink of the day. Over the course of a few months people try it. There is an issue with compliance which is very important. If you don’t comply, you will re-learn the addictive behavior. This is I I liken it to something like diabetes – your insulin. This is your lifesaving medication, this is your heart medication. You cannot drink without it, period. It is a lifetime commitment. But that said about 40 percent of people on TSM, The Sinclair Method, do become abstinent. Their goal is sobriety.
Listen to the complete podcast to find out more about how you can control and stop drinking using The Sinclair Method and how you can help others to do the same.
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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