Hello Claudia, thank you for making yourself available to discuss your hopes and ideas with C3 Foundation Europe.
CC: Hi Joanna, it’s my pleasure.
To begin, would you be good enough to give us a little background on your C3 Foundation – how did the idea turn into a reality?
CC: I decided to start my non profit C3 Foundation for a myriad of reasons. There was too much misinformation about TSM on the internet and not enough actual fact so I decided to have a one stop place for people to find a doctor, read Dr. Sinclair’s definitive TSM statement, get resources and hopefully find answers and support. Jenny Williamson did the brilliant website and is my partner in making C3 a reality – if it wasn’t for her there would not be such an elegant, inclusive, educational site. She has gone above and beyond in her excitement to help, her dedication to research and her motivation to help people.
With the movie One Little Pill now almost completed, 2014 is shaping up to be a very good year for the promotion of TSM. What are your hopes and expectations for the distribution of the movie?
CC: We hope to get One Little Pill sold to TV first. More people will see it then if we do the documentary film circuit and frankly; it would be great to have those lovely golden awards laurels but saving lives is paramount and timely so we need to get it seen ASAP. My hopes are that the AMA (American Medical Association) will screen it, the VA (Veterans Affairs) will show it to their Veterans in need, medical students will see it, Nurse Practitioners, addiction counsellors and anyone else who deals with addiction…and of course families and friends of addicts.
Can you tell us what other projects are in the pipeline for the C3 Foundation?
CC: We hope to open a clinic for TSM with an outpatient service, giving prescriptions and counseling, that’s the huge goal. Smaller goals are our pill container program and I hope to get a pharmaceutical company to offer Naltrexone and Nalmefene online at reduced cost to people trying TSM but that’s another long term goal.
During your activities during the past few years, are you finding that attitudes to alcoholics and addicts are becoming more understanding or hardening as a result of tough decisions having to be made on funding for medical care in general?
CC: I believe that there is a willingness to listen now and a far more open mind than even five years ago as far as treatment for addicts goes. Because drug and alcohol abuse is such an epidemic people do not have much choice in the matter; the My way or the Highway approach simply does not and can not work. Relapse rates are 80-95% depending on who you ask, either way it is staggeringly high. Traditional treatment does not work for a huge majority of addicts so they must have options, as we say at C3 “Options save Lives”. I recently did Klean Radio and was chuffed to hear staunch AA-ers saying that yes, we need treatments such at TSM for the massive amount of people that traditional treatment has failed.
Attitudes towards the prescribing of medication for alcohol disorders appear to be changing quicker in Europe than America. Why do you think this might be the case?
CC: America and the FDA is a slow moving dinosaur unfortunately. Europe has always been ahead of us in approving life saving drugs, it’s sad and challenging to say the least. I know of people who had to go to Switzerland for cancer treatment, Italy for surgeries they couldn’t get at home…..perhaps this will change with our new Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, we’ll see.
The attitude that addiction is a moral problem is fading as well and addiction is finally being seen for what it is, a disease or a brain disorder or a learned behavior, any of those definitions is far more beneficial to our plight than simply “Addicts are bad people” which seemed to be the presiding attitude after the “Just say No” years.
Given the high profile of your promotion of TSM, what reaction have you received from both medical professionals and treatment centres?
CC: I’ve had a great response from most medical professionals but treatment centers (traditional ones) can in no way support TSM because they are abstinence based and one MUST drink on TSM…however treatment centers such as Alternatives in Beverly Hills, CA is going to offer up TSM as part of their treatment options. I love centers like that…a menu for the addict with choices for them. Dr. Adi Jaffe is one person I really respect, he is open minded and smart enough to know that we must be progressive in our treatment of addicts. I did Larry King with him.
Helping people gain access to TSM is now a very important part of the C3 Foundation Europe remit. Getting the practical help is proving a major obstacle to alcoholics and is something that I am dealing with on a regular basis. How many people have reached out to yourself and the C3 Foundation since it began?
CC: Hundreds of people have reached out to me via C3 and my social media TSM page and even my fan page, it’s staggering how many people are touched by alcohol abuse.
Are there any plans for a follow up to Babylon Confidential, perhaps documenting more testimonials along with a few chapters on your work to gain acceptance for TSM?
CC: Babylon Confidential did not sell well enough to merit a sequel I would imagine in a publisher’s eye however I might write that book for people in need and self publish it and make it available to people myself.
In Europe, there appears to be a reluctance to prescribe either naltrexone or nalmefene without another form of treatment, such as counselling, alongside. Though this has been proven not to be required for success, if that is the prequisite to getting a prescription I would advise participation. Is this something that you have experienced worldwide and what are your views on this, given that there is some way to go before the tablets are prescribed in accordance with The Sinclair Method? Do you see it as an acceptable interim measure?
CC: I say do whatever you have to do to get the medication…yes the pill does the trick as far as extinction goes but some people do legitimately benefit from counseling, I did not and many others will not but there are some that do. For those of us who did not need or do not need talk therapy I suggest just going along with it if that is what it takes to get the RX.
Perhaps the day will come when people recognize that some addicts are biological addicts, not drinking because their life is rough…..as Gary Bell said “Why does everyone presume that every alcoholic had a horrible childhood?” (I’m paraphrasing but you get the point). To become an alcoholic you need two things: the genetic predisposition and you have to drink, period. Now some people DO drink due to trauma or other things and they should seek counseling for sure.
The loyalty of your fans seems quite amazing – a brief look at your facebook page shows that you have the support of your fans in your mission to bring The Sinclair Method to the attention of the world. In writing Babylon Confidential you opened up a very private part of your life into full view. Did you experience any negativity or has the support overwhelmed you?
CC: My fans have been 100% supportive and amazing throughout my journey, I have experienced such love and respect it makes me want to reach out and hug every single one of them. If it wasn’t for my fans I also would not have been able to make One Little Pill. You are an example of a person who has gone above and beyond my wildest dreams of generosity 🙂 My fans have been the most loyal group of people I have ever had the honor to know.
And finally, Claudia, please let the readers know how they can help to spread the word about TSM and help get this treatment to other people in need…..
CC: The best way to spread the word about TSM is to talk about it…at parties, social gatherings, with family and friends….just keep talking about it. I guarantee that nearly every person who reads this will know someone touched by alcohol abuse so just talk and share and bring it into conversations then if someone expresses any interest at all, send them to me!