How I overcame alcoholism | Claudia Christian | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Reviewer: Queenie Lee I’ve been in the entertainment
industry for over 30 years. I was a very light drinker in my 20s. In my 30s, I was a social drinker, and somewhere in my early 40s,
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. Think about it. You drive by a liquor store,
and you’re triggered, you want a 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 grass
and do tai chi. 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
of AA in two different countries. I went macrobiotic.
I got my chakras realigned. I tried veganism. You name it, I tried it, and I – I prayed. 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, and 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 equine therapy or tai chi in some swanky beachfront
expensive rehabilitation facility was not going to fix
my biological addiction. By 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 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 drink.” So I listened to that idiot in my head,
and I went out to dinner that night, and I had a glass of wine, came home,
and I was so chuffed, “Well, look, the idiot is right.
I’m not an addict. I only had one glass.” Right … Day 2, I had two glasses;
day 3, I had three glasses – plus I picked up a bottle to bring home
and drink on the way home. Day 5, 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 I 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 flyers 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 Naltrexone, 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 Eskapa. And there was this little sample chapter, 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 an opiate blocker, like Naltrexone, or Nalmefene
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? 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 Naltrexone back then; in fact, when I mentioned it
to anybody, they said, “What?” So I ordered my pills
from an Indian pharmacy online, 50 mg of hope. Took a couple of weeks
for the pills to come to me, and when they did, I got to 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
while I ate my dinner. There was no head games, no compulsion, no “I want more, more, more” – nothing. I took a couple of sips,
and I went, “Meh. I’m done.” It was a complete miracle. Three months into TSM,
I had my true aha moment. There was this billboard –
I hate this billboard – near where I lived in Los Angeles, and every time I drove by it,
it 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’d go, “I want more.” If I was in sober mode,
I would drive by that billboard, and I’d go, “Uh, damn it,
I 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. Roy Eskapa and thank him for writing his book. I also asked him to thank
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 estimates 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 – 90% 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 20- or 30-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 90% 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 Humphreys
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,” and a complete lack
of understanding or compassion. Many people suffer for
much longer than I did, but the majority of us suffer
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 ten 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% less abused 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 Ctrl-Alt-Del
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 lifesaving treatment. And let’s give addicts
the option they deserve. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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60 thoughts on “How I overcame alcoholism | Claudia Christian | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

  1. Although I can appreciate her story, her journey, and recovery, I believe an addicts desire to change their life's course is when recovery begins. I am the husband of an alcoholic who has tried everything including the treatment in this video. My wife is currently in treatment for the third time and this time there is more traction. She is doing better in the current treatment facility because she was on the verge of losing everything if she doesn't quit. She keeps reminding herself that her family is more important than alcohol. My conclusion which applies to every person regarding everything is that the mind is the most powerful tool God gave us. If you set your mind to achieve something and take any steps towards doing so, anything is possible. I wish the best to all addicts and their journey to recovery.

  2. Three years ago I quit drinking after forty five years of heavy drinking. I went from spending six hundred a month at the liquor store and now I spend nothing there. I still don't know why or how I did it because it just happened. Cannabis was key even though I had always smoked it while I was drinking. Without the booze the pain went away, the GERD went away, the edema went away, the vomiting stopped and my lungs cleared up. I have not been sick for one day since I quit and I weigh forty pounds less. I never even missed it and I always thought I couldn't live without it. Who would have thought?

  3. Naltrexone wasn’t for me… thought to be fair, I didn’t continue it after a week. I have never been the type to fall asleep while I was doing something, but it did that for me. Just nodding off after sitting for a couple minutes. That scared me a lot. And I didn’t really find it curb my cravings, or lessen the effects of drinking. 1 week only though, maybe it would have worked if I were on it longer.

  4. Looks like you're trying just to sell us that pills…and you're full of money, but lot of people can't afford 30'000 dollars for some tedox. You ever thought about it?

  5. i only got a little over 2 years and i don't care what you call the pill i aint taking nothing with the gamble that i can relapse without relasping???? good luck to y'all, if you STOP putting it in you it cant rule you anymore.

  6. "78% less alcohol addicted people", "78% less broken families, 78% less abused children, lost days of work, insurance cost, accidents…" – Many thanks for labeling us, grouping us all together and passing judgement, as if all alcohol abusers beat their children, skip work constantly and break their families or cause accidents. I thank you for story and commend you on your effort to help people, albeit that I will never support the use of medication to reach or maintain sobriety, unless it is in a rehab or detox facility. But unfortunately you have taken the easy route out, you are now technically reliant on medication to keep you sober…you have not developed the mental abilities to be able to conquer alcohol abuse yourself, and when you relapse, you will turn back to the medication…reliance. Only an alcoholic will pass judgment from the gutter, and this you have done, pretending to me on a pedestal and better than the people with this affliction that you yourself are part of – you said it, we have this for life!. I wish sobriety on you for the rest of your days, I just wish that you could be a little more humble – I don't feel that you'll be able to keep this up in the long term and I am personally struggling to relate to you, but that is just me – what do I know? Godspeed, and good luck!

  7. Please this woman is a charlatan you drink more because your brain is reacting to the alcohol no buzz no point the buzz causes what they call the taste

  8. You take this Serrapeptase 250000 I.U along with Nattokinase 200 F.U. twice a day in the morning and at night and you will be off drinking. Everything else is bogus. No withdrawal symptoms nothing. IT WORKS!!!!

  9. When i stop drinking automatically, cant sleep at night sweating in my body, sometime i heard voice in my head, hard to eat food, if i dont eat food for long time and i i dont sleep well, i used to fall on ground, unconsious for less than 1 minute , so now a how i stop drinking isi used ka dosage and after that i can adjust

  10. Don't agree with this. Cold turkey is not overcoming alcohol. Metal health is key. This speaker can't convince me that her mental health was always good. I'm able to drink, enjoy it, and walk away.

  11. These videos are so helpful along with many others online that are very helpful, even for extreme alcolocs like myself. I have been sober almost 15 weeks after hitting complete rock bottom. Inever thought I could get this far, but I feel like a completely different person. It's amazing! It is still challenging at times, I wont lie about that. Trust me , if I could get this far after drinking constantly, I pray anyone going through the same situation has the strength and support out there to conquer this horrible disease. Rem ember, take one day at a time, AA, find a new hobby, friends, etc._.Try to avoid being bored and avoid old habits. Going to the gym constantly when I crave alcohol and talking to God, Jesus and my Guardian Angels has answered so many of my prayers and helped me get this far. I sincerely pray for anyone going through addiction. Its awful, but remember you are not alone. God bless everyone!

  12. I want this to be true. But I’ve noticed throughout life that if something is as easy as taking a pill to cure your issue, it’s too good to be true. Meaning where one thing is fixed another thing goes wrong.
    Any side effects?
    Is it truly the answer?

    I need help.

  13. I battle daily I’m a binge drinker I have no family and a girlfriend just says get over yourself because she can have a couple of glasses I have the opposite mind I never used to drink and now it’s got a firm grip I will go a few days then I will binge I get pains in my heart I bruise up my money is going , I think I might start this theory and see if can stop my major problems before I am totally damaged this was really good to watch 👍

  14. AA works. Some people are better than others. Some meetings are better than others. If someone had a bad experience ive noticed its the people involved, not the program. And I say this as someone who was an atheist that went to marilyn manson concerts as a teen and now study religious texts on my own or with friends.

  15. My brother was a binge drinker but he said he didn't have a problem because it was only once or twice a week. I found it impossible to knock some sense into him. He wouldn't listen to me or anyone who cared about him. He changed his mind one night when he woke up in A&E after getting his stomach pumped out. His liver function was also permanently damaged. Needless to say, he doesn't drink anymore. Neither do I.

  16. Some of us don't want to trade liquor for pills. I just want to be balanced and full of vibes without alcohol OR drugs.

    Cold turkey works well for me, for about a week or 2, until a holiday weekend or party then the cycle continues

  17. I just started withdrawal ended up in the ER gots meds. I’ll be entering treatment b/c I’m tired of being sick . I want a breath of fresh air , I’m 24 and have been drinking since I was 12, my body is going to give up on me soon I will save myself.

  18. Thank you so much for making this video❤️ my boyfriend has been battling alcoholism for quite some time and he has been trying so hard to stop but he couldn’t fight the urge to drink for obvious reasons. He is going to try taking the pills and it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys making this video❤️ thank you again!😊

  19. I relapsed after 11 and half months due to being in a toxic relationship Its been hard having to deal with a women and her children who have no respect

  20. Hi ther everyone out ther the reason i took to drinking again wss my xboyfrend i was with him for 6 yrs was not drinking then started only about 6 mothes ago found out he was seeing someone else by my frend now i gust drink though the day wait till 6 on the teatime then know more then try and eat somethink but drink is a meal and i cant finsh my supper been at doctors so meany times gust dont know anymore xxxxx

  21. This medicine may treat the symptom but not the cause. Alcoholics Anonymous treats the causes and conditions of alcoholism. Going to 12 meetings is a half measure and will avail you nothing. Go to AA get a sponsor and work the program. AA gives you a new design for living. Your rant is dangerous.

  22. Hi everyone,
    My doctor said if I did not stop drinking my life would be over with in 6 months ,
    So for that day I’ll stop drinking and it’s been 2years and 7 months now I’ve lost 7stone in weight and feel a lot more relaxed and stronger and my life is just being again ( after 20 years I lost form alcohol hope this helps someone out there 🤞

  23. for any real change to occur we need to reject the fraudulent cult of the "12 steps" and criminalize forced attendance to AA and NA as a condition for receiving medical treatment.

  24. There is no biological reason for addiction.
    It is ALWAYS psychology.
    I was a hard drinker and smoker until I spent 4 months in jail.
    You get used to that reality really fast.
    I drink and smoke because I wish to.
    I can easily quit either in a second.

  25. Claudia is such an amazing woman, without this video I would be dead from alcoholism. Thank you so much for the good you do.

  26. I'm a high functioning alcoholic, but this doesn't seem like it comes from the heart. This seems like an advertisement. She mentions she wrote her own book (that will likely come up when searching for this type of treatment). theres just something so off on the way she speaks about the issue, its not wholesome. this may be denial because i, myself, am an alcoholic but this just doesn't hit home like many other videos do. If i were to bet id say she has invested in these pills shes pushing in a financial way.

  27. THANK YOU CLAUDIA! I have the book. Purchased it 6 months ago,began to read it last night. NOW I need to find a doctor who will prescribe it for me. I wished I would of known this in 94 would have pared me two DUIs and several alcohol related arrests. HOPEFUL.

  28. 4 years ago my mother died way to early from alcoholism. When she perished in front of me over the course of almost 3 days, her organs shutting off and body toxin level rose bit by bit I thought "I should record this on video and load it up on Youtube". but I couldn´t muster the courage cause I was sweppt away by that horrible situation. If you see what I had to witness you stop drinking.

  29. Wish I knew about this sooner. 24 and dealing with AUD in my relationship. No doctor has ever mentioned this as a treatment option. I live in Australia.

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