Antabuse is a pill that works by encouraging alcoholics not to drink. This is not a new miracle cure as it has been around since the 1920s, having been used in the treatment of alcoholism since the fifties. Many alcoholics have used this substance while attempting to achieve sobriety; it is not usually enough by itself to help a person overcome an addiction problem. There are also dangers associated with using Antabuse, meaning it is not a solution that works for everyone.
What is Antabuse?
Antabuse/Antabus is a brand name for a drug known as disulfiram. It works by interfering with the usual way the body metabolises alcohol. If those taking Antabuse drink alcohol, they will start to feel incredibly ill, with symptoms including:
- nausea and vomiting
- neck pain
- low blood pressure
- facial flushing
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
The fact that the symptoms of mixing Antabuse with alcohol are so unpleasant is the reason this medication may be prescribed to those trying to quit. The idea is that it will discourage individuals from drinking as even a half-pint of lager could make the person in question very sick. If those looking to recover from alcohol addiction knew that they could not drink anyway, it could be much easier for them to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. The most common reason why many relapse at this stage is that they know how easy it would be to escape their uncomfortable symptoms by resuming alcohol intake, but this is not the case when taking Antabuse. There are plenty of reports from individuals who have used this substance and claimed that it helped to reduce their cravings; it could put an end to the ‘will I, won’t I’ internal debate.
Antabuse can stay in the system for up to 14 days, which means that even if the person decided to drink again, they would have two weeks to consider the consequences of doing so – in other words, there is plenty of time for them to change their mind. Taking the drug could also give peace of mind, as those taking the drug would not have to worry about relapse in the immediate future. So long as the person keeps on taking the Antabuse, they extend the time until it would be safe for them to drink again.
Danger of Antabuse
There have been cases of people dying because they drank alcohol while taking Antabuse, so it might not be a good option for those who are not really committed to sobriety. There have also been examples of individuals becoming extremely ill after their alcoholic drink was spiked with Antabuse. Many everyday products contain alcohol, including mouthwash and certain over-the-counter medicines, so a person would have to be careful to avoid triggering the drug by mistake.
There are also side effects associated with taking this substance. Some find that it makes them feel drowsy, while others experience a metallic taste in their mouth. There is also a slight risk of Antabuse causing liver problems, which is why it should only be taken under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
Can Antabuse Cure Alcoholism
Antabuse has been used in the treatment of alcoholism for the last sixty years but now it seems to be losing its popularity. It can give people self-confidence in early sobriety, so it is still a useful substance in some cases. The dangers associated with the use of Antabuse, though, mean that it should only be taken with extreme care.