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Using Antabuse to Help Treat Alcohol Abuse

Dr. Charles Sophy, who has appeared on Channel VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, discusses the use of the drug Antabuse to help treat alcohol addiction. Antabuse, also known as Disulfiram, acts by preventing the body breaking down the alcohol in the bloodstream. The body is therefore unable to deal with alcohol in the normal way.



Antabuse as Therapy
For the patient, this results in an unpleasant reaction that includes nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure and palpitations. Antabuse is thus a behavioral intervention, in that it aims to modify the behavior of the user. The user must take the tablet every day for it to be effective.

While not used extensively in the USA, it has been used with some success in other countries, with up to 50% rates of success. The one major problem with its use is that it is possible to have users who are undeterred by the unpleasant effects of the drug, such that they have a very severe reaction. This could, in some cases, lead to their death.

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