An Educational Program to Increase Elective Use of Disulfiram Treatment
As a widely used pharmacological treatment for alcohol abuse, disulfiram (commonly called by its trade name, Antabuse) has been demonstrated to be effective in temporarily helping alcoholics refrain from drinking (Lundwall and Baekeland, 1971). The value of disulfiram is due to the adverse physical effects which occur when the drug is combined with alcohol; a patient who takes disulfiram regularly knows that drinking any form of alcoholic beverage will cause feelings of nausea, lowered blood pressure, palpitations, headache, and intense anxiety. When disulfiram is administered on a voluntary basis, it has the potential of being a powerful self-control device because it gives the problem drinker the freedom to make only one decision a day; that is, to take his or her disulfiram tablet. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of disulfiram is limited by the fact that patients choose not to use it or neglect to take it after it has been prescribed. It has been suggested that patient education be the preferred method of increasing patient use of disulfiram (Lubetkin, Rivers and Rosenberg, 1971). The present paper is a description of one such educational approach being developed at a Veterans Administration Hospital alcohol treatment program.
KeywordsAlcoholic Beverage Alcohol Treatment Liquor Store Intense Anxiety Dangerous Side Effect
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Lubetkin, B.S., Rivers, P.C. and Rosenberg, C.M. 1971. Difficulties in disulfiram therapy with alcoholics. Quarterly Journal of Studies in Alcoholism. 32: 168–171.Google Scholar