Sometimes, after a recovering alcoholic leaves an alcohol rehab, he or she is put on a medication called antabuse. This medication is prescribed to keep the alcoholic from relapsing once they are released back into the real world with its many temptations.
Antabuse( also known as Disulfiram) has been used since 1951 to prevent people from drinking. It is also sometimes used for people who have a dual addiction and who do not understand that mixing medication for psychiatric disorders with alcohol only makes things worse.
If you drink on antabuse it will make you very sick to your stomach. Once you take a sip of alcohol your face flushes and you get a headache. Your heart races, you become dizzy and you then succumb to nausea and vomiting.
This sequence of unpleasant side effects triggers your mind and your body to not want to drink because the physical consequences of taking antabuse as part of your alcohol treatment are quite severe. It works because it makes drinking not an option. You stop wasting your time thinking about drinking and struggling with your desire to have one more drink. Instead you are more inclined to think about your recovery.
Antabuse has been used for years as part of alcohol treatment because it has been shown to reduce cravings for booze which in turn reduces the risk of relapse. The drug has also been quite effective as part of alcohol treatment for teens.
One of the reasons that antabuse might be so effective as part of alcohol treatment is because you have to wait one to two weeks before you can have a drink again without throwing up AFTER you stop the drug. This gives you plenty of time to reconsider your decision to continue being an alcoholic and plenty of time to be punished with severe nausea if you do decide to break your promise to yourself and others to be sober.