Frequently asked questions about us and the Contral Method

By making an appointment – there is usually no need for a doctor’s referral, unless reimbursement policies require that. One’s own motivation is sufficient.
It is a combination of therapy and medication aimed at extinguishing excessive alcohol drinking. The basic treatment programme consists of 8 visits to the clinic (each approximately 45-50 minutes long), of which three visits are with a doctor and five with a therapist. The visits initially are one week apart but the interval between visits lengthens as the treatment proceeds. All in all, the basic treatment lasts from 3 to 6 months. After the basic treatment, follow-up sessions are recommended.
The total cost depends much on the amount of medication that is necessary. The medication costs 100-400 € and the laboratory tests (if needed) cost 100-200 €. The treatment program cost will be on top of that. Please send and inquiry to contral@contral.com regarding the price of the whole treatment program.
In clinical trials, treatments resembling the Contral method have been shown to significantly reduce craving and drinking. In a survey of 147 clients from the first clinic, about three out of four clients (78%) reduced successfully their drinking below a level of increased risk for mortality and morbidity, or at least halved their alcohol consumption from what it was to begin with. A quarter of the clients reported having been abstinent during the last month. The treatment was unsuccessful in 12% of the clients, most often because of a failure to follow instructions. As to the long-term efficacy, the method is still young, and only time will show.
The treatment works for most excessive drinkers regardless of severity.It is not appropriate, however, for a recovering alcoholic who has been abstinent for a long time.It also is difficult to start the treatment in the middle of a severe binge that incapacitates the client and interferes with compliance. The treatment cannot be recommended for people with acute liver diseases, pregnant women, or individuals physically dependent upon opiates. A doctor evaluates the person’s state of health in the screening visit.
It prevents reinforcement from drinking alcohol by blocking the opiate receptors.As a result, the urge to drink gradually is weakened, and alcohol becomes an insignificant matter. It does not reduce intoxication but may instead slightly increase the detrimental effects of alcohol on driving and similar activities. The medicine is a passive substance with no stimulating or tranquilising effects. Unlike Antabuse®, it does not produce an aversive effect in combination with alcohol.
In general the medicine is well tolerated with no severe side effects, but a small minority of clients may in the beginning of the treatment experience passing nausea, headache, irritability, etc.
The medicine alone is not sufficient because a total change of a way of life is involved. The therapy provides a channel to observe what things and feelings are related to drinking from various points of view and to plan a new life free of dependence upon alcohol. The visits are important for educating the client about how the extinction works and how to accentuate the benefits from it. It also is critical to assure clients in the early stages that the craving and drinking decrease slowly over many weeks and that they should not worry if they do not see immediate improvement.