Coercion or Caregiving? Client and Caregivers’ Perspectives on Court Mandated Disulfiram Use

  • Walter P. Shepherd
  • P. Clayton Rivers


The past decade of legal action in this country has reflected an increased concern by members of both the legal and mental health professions for those individuals caught in the interface between the legal and mental health systems (Wyatt v. Stickney, 1972; Wexler, 1975). As might be expected, the concern for the civil rights of these individuals has been unevenly distributed with some areas, e.g., the rights of the mentally ill in the commitment process, receiving considerable attention and other areas being almost entirely neglected. The focus of the present paper is on one of these neglected areas, the practice of including disulfiram (Antabuse) as part of a client’s probation for a legal system offense that is related to alcohol use and abuse.


Alcohol Problem Mental Health System Carbon Disulfide Court System Legal Offense 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Billet, S.L. Antabuse Therapy. In R.J. Cantanzaro (ed.) Alcoholism: The total treatment approach. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1968.Google Scholar
  2. Cahol, C.A. Safety of disulfiram. New England Journal of Medicine, 1972, 287, 935–936.Google Scholar
  3. Chafetz, M.E.; Blane, H.T. and Hill, M.J. (eds.) Frontiers of Alcoholism. New York: Science House, 1970.Google Scholar
  4. Fox, R. Disulfiram (Antabuse) as an adjunct in the treatment of alcoholism. In R. Fox (ed.) Alcoholism: Behavioral, Research, Therapeutic Approaches. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 1967, 252–255.Google Scholar
  5. Fried, R. Comments on Antabuse therapy of alcoholism. Clinical Experimental Research, 1972, 1, 275–276.Google Scholar
  6. Gardner-Thorpe, C. and Benjamin, S. Peripheral neuropathy after disulfiram administration. Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery, 1971, 34, 253–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gerrein, M.S., Rosenberg, C.M. and Manohan, V. Disulfiram maintenance in outpatient treatment of alcoholism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1973, 28, 798–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hald, J. and Jacobsen, E. A drug sensitizing the organism to ethyl alcohol. Lancet, 1948, 255, 1001–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoff, E.C. The use of disulfiram (Antabuse) in the comprehensive therapy of a group of 1020 alcoholics. In R.J. Cantanzaro (ed.) Alcoholism: The total treatment approach. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1967.Google Scholar
  10. Hoff, E.C. and McKeown, C.E. An evaluation of the use of TETD in the treatment of 560 cases of alcohol addiction. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1953, 109, 670–673.Google Scholar
  11. Hotson, J.R. and Langston, J.W. Disulfiram-induced encephalopathy. Archives of Neurology, 1976, 33, 141–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kane, F.J. Carbon disulfide intoxication from overdosage of disulfiram. American Journal of Pyschiatry, 1970, 127. 690–694.Google Scholar
  13. Lubetkin, B.S., Rivers, P.C. and Rosenberg, C.M. Difficulties of di-sulfiram therapy with alcoholics. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1971, 32, 168–171.Google Scholar
  14. Rainey, J.M., Jr. and Neal, R.A. Disulfiram, carbon disulfide and atherosclerosis. Lancet, 1975, 284–285.Google Scholar
  15. Victor, C.A. Psychological factors that influence attitudes and feelings of alcohol clients to Antabuse. Smith College School for Social Work, 1973, 49, 69–70.Google Scholar
  16. Wexler, D.B. Token and taboo: Behavior modification, token economies and the law. In D. Rosenhan and P. London (eds.) Theory and Research in Abnormal Psychology, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1975.Google Scholar
  17. Wyatt v. Stickney, 344 F. Supp. 373 ( M.D. Ala. 1972 ) ( Bryce and Searcy Hospitals).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter P. Shepherd
    • 1
  • P. Clayton Rivers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations