You may find you have struggled when it comes to ensuring your patients practice medication adherence, no matter what the ailment you are treating them for. Proven strategies for increasing compliance include (Ashish, et al.):
Simplifying regimen characteristics;
- Modifying patient beliefs;
Leaving the bias; and
The Sinclair Method instructions for medication are simple, but your patients rely on you to understand and communicate the benefits of medication assisted and pharmacological treatments.
If a patient has approached you about naltrexone or the Sinclair Method, they are probably already highly motivated to decrease or even quit drinking alcohol. That is a distinct advantage that you can leverage to increase adherence and to better their chances of long-term recovery.
The C Three Foundation offers several adherence tools that are available for no charge. Some of these tools are focused directly on taking medication, others are more indirect–focused on accountability both to self and to you as their physician.
Medication Adherence Tools
The C Three Foundation runs a pill holder key chain program for people new to the Sinclair Method as a way to assist them with adherence. We offer free key chains to physicians to give their patients when they receive their naltrexone prescription. We have found that people are more likely to remain compliant if they are able to keep their medication with them wherever they go.
The TSM Drink Diary smartphone app (in development)
This smartphone app will include a timer, which the individual will set when they take their medication. After the appropriate amount of time (one hour for naltrexone, two hours for nalmefene), the app will alert the user the medication waiting period has ended. This is important for extinction targeting. The app will also allow users to track, graph, and export their drink diary to share with their health care professional during followup appointments.
One of the most important parts of The Sinclair Method (after medication compliance) is recording drinks in a daily drink log. This helps track progress over time, since many people will take 6 – 9 months before they reach their desired goal.
A drink log is also a great tool for patients to print out and bring with them to follow up appointments so you can easily see their progress. It can be equally beneficial for patients to share with concerned family members, especially when they are feeling nervous because your patient has not yet reached his or her goal, whether that is to drink moderately or to give up drinking entirely.
The Options Save Lives digital support forum has more than 780 members from around the world who share their experiences with The Sinclair Method and offer peer support to one another.