How I overcame alcoholism | Claudia Christian | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool



I've been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years I was a very light drinker in my 20s my 30s I was a social drinker and somewhere in my early forties I developed alcohol use disorder which is abbreviated AUD we don't really use the term alcoholism that much anymore because it's too narrow of a term AUD covers everything from the occasional binge drinker to the chronic daily drinker I started to realize that something was very wrong with me when I was always the last person standing at the bar or at dinner parties when everybody else had switched to coffee I was still quaffing wine yeah I realized then that I definitely had a problem so I decided that I would just go cold turkey sober and I did but what I didn't realize is that could cause what's called the alcohol deprivation effect where once the honeymoon period of sobriety wears off you're left with constant physical cravings for alcohol so think about it you drive by a liquor store and you're triggered you want to drink you walk by a pub and you get angry because you can't go in there and have just one drink you start isolating from your friends and families because they drink developing AUD was an incredibly confusing thing for somebody who admittedly likes to be in control I was definitely not in control of this at all in fact I was swept up in a nearly decade-long battle with something I refer to as the monster addiction is a monster and it affects every ethnicity social class race sex age it doesn't matter you can be the most disciplined person in the world when it gets you it has you it is in control when I finally realized that I was not in the driver's seat that the monster was I sought out every single treatment I could possibly find or afford I went to rehab for $30,000 to basically drink wheat Sidhu Taichi I went to talk therapy for over two and a half years for 200 bucks a session I actually sought out a hypnotherapist who claimed that he had cured a member of the Grateful Dead that was 400 bucks an hour I went to 12 different meetings and of a a in two different countries I went macrobiotic I got my chakras realigned I tried veganism I you name it I tried it and I I prayed okay I prayed until my knees were black and blue and I still kept relapsing time and time again I mean I think that in the years that I was suffering from AUD and really battling it I probably relapsed close to 20 times and each relapse became more difficult to recover from they got worse and worse and worse and here's the thing I wasn't drinking because I had a crummy childhood or because I was suffering from any personal trauma I mean if you look at it from the outside I had a great life I was in my chosen career I had a beautiful home I had friends and family who loved me and supported me I was drinking because I was physically addicted to alcohol that's it once I started I could not stop drinking I have addiction on both sides of my family and the genetic predisposition coupled with engaging in the behavior which for me is drinking made me an addict I knew one thing for sure after trying all of these treatments and this became very clear doing a coin therapy or Tai Chi and some swanky beachfront expensive rehabilitation facility was not going to fix my biological addiction but the end of 2008 I had six months of sobriety under my belt and that's when the addict started to talk to me in my head that's the insidious thing about addiction is once you have a little bit of sobriety under your belt you go hey I'm not an addict it whispers to you go ahead have a drink you'll be able to control it just one so I listened to that idiot in my head and I went out to dinner that night and I had a glass of wine and I came home and I was so chuffed well look the idiots right I'm not an addict I only had one glass right day two I had two glasses day three I had three glasses plus I picked up a bottle to bring home and drink on the way home day five I was in a full-blown binge I was drinking anything and everything I would have probably drunk vanilla extract if I had it when it was finally too ill to drink one more drop of alcohol I did what I always did went cold turkey and tried to detox this time something went very wrong I started to suffer from seizures in my body I lost all control of my motor controls I couldn't stand up I couldn't get dressed so I called a friend and she took me to my one and only medical detox where I got to tell you I was not treated very well in fact until they had my $3,000 they finally gave me my medication that I needed to stop shaking at that point I felt so humiliated and so down and so embarrassed by the whole experience that I checked myself out and I left on the way out there was this little stack of fliers for all these different various treatments for AUD one of them was for a shot and this shot promised to eliminate all cravings for alcohol the shot was over $1,000 a month but at this point I would have sold my soul to get better when I got home I googled that shot it turns out that the main ingredient in it is now Trek's own an fda-approved non-addictive safe medication that's been used to treat AUD since 1994 as I was searching a book popped up the rather boldly named the cure for alcoholism by dr. Roy escapa and there was this little sample chapter there so I read the chapter and I was absolutely hooked this made complete sense to the science lover in my head it described a treatment called the sinclair method or TSM where one takes an opiate blocker you wait for an hour so the medication can get into your bloodstream and brain and then you drink alcohol sounds counterintuitive I know but hear me out usually when an addict drinks they get a huge reward from alcohol and that's what makes them want more and more and more but if you drink on an opiate blocker like now Trek zone or now muffin if you're here in the UK instead of the alcohol reinforcing the addictive synapses in the brain the opiate blocker blocks the endorphins from activating the part of the brain responsible for addiction it's as if you have a huge room of endorphins living in your brain right and every time you drink alcohol those endorphins rush through the door and they raise hell in your brain and your neuro pathways the opiate blocker stops those endorphins from even leaving the room it slams that door and it locks it so they can't even get out and play over the course of a couple days or weeks for some people the body is slowly detoxed drinking levels dramatically decrease because your cravings for alcohol subside I didn't have a doctor that would prescribe me now treks own back then in fact when I mentioned it to anybody they said what so I ordered my pills from an Indian pharmacy online 50 milligrams of hope took a couple of weeks for the pills to come to me and when they did I gotta tell you I was scared out of my mind because I thought what if it doesn't work what if it makes me relapse again what if it's a worse relapse than the last one but at this point I was so desperate I took my chance so I took the pill I waited the hour I poured myself a glass of wine and it was a miracle I mean the wine just sat there well I ate my dinner there was no head games no compulsion no I want more more and more nothing I took a couple of sips and I went man I'm done it was a complete miracle three months into TSM I had my true aha moment there was this billboard hate this billboard near where I lived in Los Angeles and every time I drove by it I had a huge glass of red wine on it which was my particular poison massive glass of red wine every time I drove by that billboard it would trigger me if I was in drink mode it would trigger me I go I want more if I was in sober mode I would drive by that billboard not go can't have a glass of wine this particular day I drove by that billboard and my brain said to me that's just a billboard I can't even explain to you what a profound moment this was because it meant that my thought processes were normal again it meant that my brain was fixed it meant that I was me again six months into TSM I was mostly sober except for the occasional planned drink one hour after taking naltrexone TSM worked so well for me that I decided to contact dr. Roya Scapa and thank him for writing his book I also asked him to thank the American researcher dr. David Sinclair whose life's work quite literally saved my life I asked him what can I do to help spread the word about this treatment he said well why don't you write a book so I did that's when my journey of discovery really began I found out that the World Health Organization's estimate that a person dies 3.3 million people die every single year from alcohol-related causes that's more than malaria tuberculosis aids I also found out that multiple researchers estimate that 80 to 90 percent of people suffering from AUD do not seek treatment and many of these people don't seek treatment because they've been falsely led to believe that they have to give up alcohol for the rest of their lives which to a twenty or thirty year old can be utterly daunting not to mention kind of unrealistic I also found out that of the 10% who do seek treatment up to ninety percent of those people are relapsing within the first four years I mean what other treatable disease can you think of that has this abysmal of a success rate studies show that tough love and humiliating an addict or making them hit rock bottom is not helping them it's actually making people worse as dr. Keith Humphries from Stanford University said it's remarkable that people believe what's needed is more punishment if punishment worked there wouldn't be any addiction it's a punishing enough experience he is absolutely right it is punishing if we addicts had a normal disease we would be treated with sympathy and comfort instead we're faced with a barrage of why can't you just quit just say no in a complete lack of understanding or compassion many people suffer for much longer than I did but the majority of a sufferer for about a decade before finding help so why do so many people believe that a long-term battle with alcohol addiction can be simply stopped in 30 days or less with nothing but talk therapy and willpower it's amazing it's amazing the World Health Institute estimates that a person dies every 10 seconds from alcohol use disorder is our current treatment system really the best we can do the Sinclair method has a 78% long-term success rate imagine a world with 78% less alcohol addicted people imagine the profound impact that would have on our society 78% less broken families 78 percent less abuse children lost days of work insurance costs accidents and on and on and on the Sinclair method uses science to empower your friends your family or even yourself to achieve recovery thanks to the Sinclair method I was able to control alt delete my addiction to alcohol I am no longer powerless the monster is no longer in control I am TSM works wonders for alcohol addicted people it is my dream to see it become a go to regularly offered treatment for those in need I encourage all of you I beg you to please help spread the word of this life-saving treatment and let's give addicts the option they deserve thank you very much

47 comments

  1. Amazing….I've been struggling and to me going to group meetings all day in rehab and talking about alcohol hardly makes me want to quit. I'll definitely try this method! Thank you!!!

  2. All I hear is “Me”….this ain’t about you… it’s about making a change and helping someone else… check your ego at the door!

  3. I was a switch user. I thought i knew the brain and body, the impact and aftermath of the drugs and alcohol i took. Did i use opioids to much ? I stopped before itgot a hold of me, i switch to alcohol, after that switched to coke, but what i didnt realize that patron of use, even if ure disciplined as f#$%k it will get to you sooner or later, in my case later because of the switching, but i sure got in problems because of it.

  4. I am pretty sure this comment will be erased but her goes. Gee a pill that will fix everything. The problem with alcoholism is that by the time you decide to stop or seek treatment chances are you have more to deal with than just the addiction. Alcoholics are typically selfish, self centered individuals with usually a bit of wreckage to deal with and a pill is not going to cut it. The quick fix and get on with your life idea of this makes me cringe. Give the drug companies more money. By the way, I include myself in the above description and I have over a decade sober.

  5. This woman is so delusional. "I was an alcoholic because of the physical addiction"….. ok but how much were you drinking to get that dependence??

  6. My father is an alcoholic. He has been since I've known him. It affected everyone in the home. He struggled to love us as alcohol was his first love. This thing is no joke. My brother struggles with his own family because of the way my father rejected him. It hurts to see the addiction affect everyone around you. Please, if you're there, claim your life back! Take whatever steps necessary. Because my father is 60 years old and lives in his regret. My siblings and I are all grown now. And my father tries to makeup for the past. But so much damage been done. And we're all just trying to heal from the affects it had on our home. We love our father but he still chooses alcohol.

  7. I guess this approach is OK for an alcoholic that has zero issues with other parts of their life, problems that are also of their own creation. No fears, no resentments, no anger, etc. But, if significant portions of your life need to be addressed (not unusual for many of us), then cessation of alcohol is not the complete solution. I wonder how things would have worked if she had taken this drug, but then applied the twelve steps as well? Heck, she actually could have chosen this medicine as her higher power. Not recommended, but she could have done it. BUT…steps 4-12 are extremely cathartic and full of growth. Food for thought.

  8. It is ineffective and dangerous to attempt this method god bless you and keep you safe from pharmaceuticals just a painful let down not to mention you can’t get health or life insurance after this mess

  9. Both my dad and stepmom died last year, basically alcohol-related causes, so I wish I knew about this drug years ago.

  10. I saw this video around a year ago. I’ve been doing TSM for a year & I have my life back. The greatest alcohol treatment plan ever created by far. So simple yet so effective

  11. How much stock do have you acquired after your positive exsperence? Seem's one would buy as much as possible to insure other's get to exsperence such success. You get richer, alcoholics get the medicine, families get healed. Problem; it's unethical to pitch without clarification of conflicts of interests or I s it?
    Kudos kid!!!

  12. Im a recover alcoholic and this woman in my opinion is selling snake oil..and grandiose delusional of denial there have been many get fix quick programs tryed for many years and usually they go away after a few years and still today ..but to the alcoholic his biggest dream to be able to drink one day like" normal "people we drink for the affect produce by alcohol so why would you take something to stop but drink

  13. I can’t deny that this video is amazing, and my doc prescribed this medication. But it took away all happiness associated with anything I was doing…not just drinking. I still believe it is the answer for many people and hope that the medical community embraces this med for the many people who need it so desperately

  14. I absolutely agree. I had a beer-addiction and I quit it with some efforts. Now I am me and that is amazing!

  15. When she played Susan Ivonova, also an alcoholic, I had no idea she was as well. Always like that character. She was tough and a force to be reckoned with.

  16. Claudia, what matters is this day forward. Thank you for your sharing of this gift to help so many. You may wish to google: untying the karmic knot. Many Many Blessings. Remember that nothing happens by accident.

  17. Im watching her on an old episode of Murder She Wrote right now.. she still looks so good after 25 years. It's crazy.. especially with her alcoholism

  18. Absolutely..ditch 12 step rehab.. ditch higher powers..I walked away 20 year's ago and that's when I got sober… the rooms will really mess with you.. the whole world has this recovery system based on the Oxford Group saving people to Jesus… move von into the real world.

  19. Amazing speech.. more people need to understand and care no matter what their views maybe about the situation..

  20. at the moment im struggling with this, its ruining my life, i just wish i could be normal, just get through one day, and wake up whitout anxiaty, so hard sneaking around with this secret

  21. i am a kind soft woman that have 4 children and love my children moe then anyone would believe and even though they keep asking me to stop i didn't think i had a problem, yet now i know i do so i am asking for help because i do not want to be this person/mum cus im lie for my children

  22. “The Sinclair Method … it really made a lot of sense. It’s so beautiful. You don’t have to stop drinking. You don’t have to give up alcohol. The alcohol will give you up. So that is the beauty of this treatment.”
    … Dr. Kshama Metre

  23. I am just realizing that my problem is only getting worse.
    I started to drink to escape work after a stressful day. Then i started to realize that i was more happy so i drank some more. I would drink even if I knew I was beyond drunk but I still drank. I've blacked out a few times and I am ashamed, not of what i was told I did, but for not remembering. For these and other reasons I will try my best to stop. I hope that anyone going through this realizes what they're doing to their bodies as i have. May you have the support that you need because alcoholism is very real and can and will ruin lives.

  24. It's not so easy to be prescribed that. If you've ever dealt with clinics or addiction specialists, you'll understand

  25. I have a social anxiety and i thought alcohol is the only cure for it. I would get drunk before every social event, sometimes even before school.

  26. It's bizarre. I've tried this. It makes drinking pointless. All you experience is the things you don't want. The slow reactions, the fumbling, you get nothing but the negatives. Even if you don't commit to it, just doing it once, is enlightening.

    It's just as she explains it, or at least that's how it affected me. It's not the same for everyone, but it's about 80%.

  27. You can try every treatment available or every known method/medication but until you SURRENDER to your addiction it all means nothing. I went into treatment for the 2nd time with a gift of desperation (the previous time I was released and thought I had the power to just drink one small shot. 😂 That led to another one and another and another one, etc. While in treatment the 2nd time WE…. Me and my therapist who was seeing me at that time and also clean from addiction herself MADE a decision to turn MY will over to the care of God as we understood him. (I couldn't do it along and I can't do it along. Neither could you so don't try. 😉 ) Before making that decision I first admitted I had a problem with drinking and that I was also powerless over my addiction when it came to drinking. I CAME to BELIEVE that the same God of my Understanding was more powerful than me and the insanity that I previously lost HE could restore. I could no longer control my drinking because everytime I tried to it ended up controlling me. I took NO medication accept melatonin to help me sleep. I addressed personal issues of my life that led me to drink. From the grief, shame, guilt, fear, etc. I let it all out. Things I thought I would never talk about I released it. The process of surrendering was showing its face. Day by day I slowly but surely gained HOPE. While back in society I met support friends who've been in my shoes before. I then Made A DECISION (SURRENDERED) to turn my life and will over to the care of My God as "I understood him." To this day I haven't had a drink. It's been almost 43 months. I now work as an intake coordinator helping other addicts. I make meetings here and there because I love being in a room with others who are Warriors Winners and full of Wisdom such as myself. Recovery is a blessing!!! I take it one step at a time. Every day I pray that each step I take is the right step and by doing so choosing to drink is no longer an option. If you're struggling PLEASE SURRENDER AND HAND YOUR DISEASE OVER TO A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF.

  28. If you chnage your diet – and do meditation – the cravings slowly subside but quitting is the start when it destroys your body or relationships.

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