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Does Naltrexone Block the Pleasure From Drinking Alcohol?

Feb 07, 2023

Recently we've been getting a lot of questions from people who wonder if drinking on naltrexone will take away all of the pleasure from alcohol.

"What's the point of drinking on naltrexone if there's no pleasure?" They ask.

So, does naltrexone block all the pleasure from alcohol?

Naltrexone – following The Sinclair Method – is a specific way of using naltrexone in order to aid in alcohol reduction. Following this treatment approach, naltrexone is typically taken 1 hour before drinking.

When naltrexone is taken before drinking, it binds to and blocks opioid receptors in the brain. When those receptors are blocked, it reduces the pleasurable effects of alcohol. (Note: Naltrexone primarily targets the pleasure associated with alcohol consumption. It does not block all pleasures in life or affect the enjoyment of other activities or experiences).

Opioid receptors are responsible for mediating the effects of endorphins and other opioids. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that play a role in the brain's reward system and are associated with feelings of pleasure and well-being. When you consume alcohol, endorphins are released, contributing to the pleasurable sensations that accompany drinking.

By blocking the opioid receptors – and therefore the endorphins, naltrexone reduces the rewarding effects of alcohol, making it less pleasurable. This can lead to a decrease in the reinforcement of alcohol consumption and ultimately help in reducing the desire to drink excessively. However, naltrexone's effects are specific to substances that interact with opioid receptors, such as alcohol and certain drugs. It doesn't generally affect other sources of pleasure or the enjoyment of everyday activities.

So while naltrexone is blocking the endorphins your brain releases when you drink alcohol – it makes the drinking experience less pleasurable, but it does not necessarily completely eliminate all the pleasure from it.  

When the endorphins from alcohol are blocked repeatedly over time with the help of naltrexone, many people can gradually stop "chasing the buzz" and start to develop more of an "off-switch" around alcohol – simply because it's not as rewarding as it once was.

How this often looks in real life is after someone has been using naltrexone and The Sinclair Method for a while, they may still enjoy 1 or 2 drinks, but they don't feel a compulsion to keep drinking. They feel satisfied.

It's important to remember that people can still get intoxicated on naltrexone – especially in the beginning of the treatment if they are drinking quickly, drinking very strong alcohol or just simply ignoring the effects of the medication.

However, many people report that they still enjoy drinking on the medication because over time, it gives them greater control over alcohol (this was definitely true for me). 

They start to feel like a "normal" drinker as alcohol takes up a smaller and less significant part of their life. They finally feel like they get their power back over alcohol. 💪🍺

For other people (like me) they gradually lose interest in alcohol over time, and end up going alcohol-free through naltrexone and The Sinclair Method. This is usually a very gradual process that happens over time as our brains no longer look to alcohol for a reward.

What's great about this treatment is that it's up to the individual to decide what type of relationship they want to have with alcohol!

This is also one reason why the Sinclair Method journey is so transformative, surprising and exciting for many people. It's truly life changing!

I hope this helps you understand a bit more about how naltrexone is working to thwart the euphoria from alcohol.




PS, If you're ready to transform your relationship with alcohol through The Sinclair Method – learn about how our program can help. As a lifetime member you'll have access to a private online program with zero judgment, zero pressure & hundreds of community members & coaches all rooting for your success. 

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Our private, at-home program will guide you step-by-step through The Sinclair Method so you can find freedom from problem drinking & live your best life.