In England and Wales, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) indicates two treatment goals for those with alcohol dependence:
- Abstinence for those patients with moderate to severe alcohol dependence
- The potential for reduced drinking in patients with mild alcohol dependence and no significant co-morbidities.
As a UK-based charity, these are the terms on which we, as an organisation, have to work, irrespective of whether we agree with the principles that underlie them. All of the clinical tests carried out have shown, of course, that The Sinclair Method could be beneficial for even the most hardened drinkers but until there is a sea-change in the attitudes of the medical profession, that is something that will remain officially unrecognised for now.
The introduction of Selincro (nalmefene) across Europe in May 2013 led to the majority of countries within the European Union adopting The Sinclair Method of one tablet, one hour before each drinking session, and no tablets on any non-drinking days.
This is The Sinclair Method in nature, if not in name.
NICE recommends, if the patient’s medical condition permits, that Selincro be prescribed to those who meet the required alcohol consumption criteria for a diagnosis of mild alcohol dependence.
NICE has also put in place a second prerequisite for treatment with Selincro, however, namely a requirement for the patient to receive psychosocial support while taking the medication. The aim of this support is to ensure that the patient is adhering to the prescription instructions by taking the medicine correctly, to enable realistic goals to be mutually agreed and regularly reviewed, and, where necessary, to explore any other issues the client feel contributes to their drinking, whether they be work, family or relationship issues.
In reality, we are hearing from far too many people who are unable to obtain their prescription for Selincro (and often for naltrexone, too) because the area in which they live in does not have the funding in place to provide this psychosocial support, or the waiting list is simply too long. Lundbeck, the manufacturers of Selincro, expect 600,000 Britons to be eligible for the medication. Even at a modest uptake in this first year of availability, we are seeing how the need for additional support is placing a strain on the mental health services in this country, which are already under immense pressure. The situation is only going to get worse…
As accredited alcohol abuse counsellors, we are extremely proud to offer a counselling service for use by those who cannot obtain access to counselling in their area. This is in addition to the support we already offer to those enquiring about, or already using, The Sinclair Method. It is available to anyone worldwide, with the only stipulation being that English must be spoken as a first or conversational level second language, or that the client has someone present during Skype appointments who can interpret for them.
The counselling, in common with all of the other support, information and resources that C3 Foundation Europe provides, will be a FREE service, and will utilise the video conferencing system, Skype. We only request that if they are in a position to do so, the client considers making a voluntary donation at the end of the counselling process to enable us to continue providing this valuable support to others suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder.
Importantly, our counselling service complies fully with the standards outlined in “A Clinician’s Guide to Psychosocial Support for Clients with Alcohol Dependence”, published by Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals, to support healthcare professionals who prescribe Selincro. The standards provide a five-step process for counselling patients being prescribed the medication, involving all the elements that Lundbeck feel are most beneficial to providing a lasting, long-term benefit to the client.
On initial contact with us, the client will be sent an information pack by email. It includes everything they need, including our certifications, an overview of the service we offer, and what is expected of them (and us!), along with additional information and links detailing how we will protect their personal data and confidential information.
After reading through the pack thoroughly, if the patient is in agreement with its terms, they can print it out and take it to their doctor in support of their request for Selincro, as evidence that they have the required alcohol counselling in place.
Please contact us to register your interest in this service.