Antabuse (Disulfuram) is a medication that some people in recovery take to help them stay away from Alcohol. This medication is considered aversive treatment because it makes a person violently ill if they drink alcohol while they are on the medication.
This pill is taken daily, usually in the morning. Once taken, the person will get sick and have to throw up if they drink alcohol.
Divergent Views by Clinicians
Antabuse has divergent views in the Substance Use field. Thus it has wide acceptance in some circles and is not even considered in other circles. One treatment program, a Harvard based substance abuse program, recommends it to most of their recovering alcoholics. However another program on the West Coast stated they never use it. The physician who specializes in addiction doesn’t want to “punish” the alcoholic.
My Own Thoughts
My own thought is Antabuse should be offered as a therapeutic tool to the Alcohol dependent client. The clinician should provide the pros, cons, and any recommendations, and then let the client decide. This is a therapeutic medication just as Naltrexone (Revia and Vivitrol) and Acamprosate (Campral) are therapeutic medications.
EHD has had many clients who have elected to take this medication, and many clients who have decided against it. This drug has been helpful for many, however there have also been clients who either drank while using it or elected to stop it so they could begin drinking. The bottom line is; Antabuse is one tool available to assist in sobriety. It rarely works alone and is most effective when combined with other treatment modalities.
Description of Antabuse
Antabuse is a round white pill. It is sold using both generic (Disulfuram) and trade names. It is supplied as a 500mg tablet and a 250 mg tablet.
Executive Home Detox prefers to use any possible tool that will help the client achieve his or her healthy goal. We are happy to recommend this medication to those that may benefit from it’s use, and we are happy to work with client’s who prefer not to utilize this option.