Disulfiram - Process of Alcohol Abstinence

Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) June 24, 2009 -- The use of medication along with therapy sessions and group therapies is said to be one of the most effective and successful way for a person to lose their dependence on alcohol. This process is evident in alcohol detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is said to treat the physical effects of prolonged use of alcohol, although it does not actually treat alcoholism. After detox is complete, relapse is likely without further treatment. This is why it’s important for a patient to undergo therapy to deal with underlying psychological issues that are related to alcohol addiction, as well as provide relapse prevention skills.

However, according to specialists in the field, aside from the use of alcohol detoxification, adult and adolescent alcohol treatment such as the use of medications are also employed to provide quicker process of alcohol abstinence. These medications, unlike alcohol detoxification which uses drugs that have similar effects in order to prevent alcohol withdrawal, are used to psychologically influence a person to lose their dependence on alcohol, either by means of losing their interest due to unwanted effects or other effects. One of the most popular medications used for alcoholism is Disulfiram.

Disulfiram Disulfiram or antabuse as an adult and adolescent alcohol treatment is used to support the treatment of chronic alcoholism by producing an acute sensitivity to alcohol. Effects of using disulfiram in alcohol treatment usually involves severe hangover after consuming alcohol while under the influence of the drug. Some 5–10 minutes after alcohol intake, the patient may experience the effects of a severe hangover for a period of 30 minutes up to several hours. Symptoms include flushing of the skin, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, throbbing headache, visual disturbance, mental confusion, postural fainting, and circulatory collapse.

Contradictions to using Disulfiram Disulfiram should not be taken if alcohol has been consumed in the last 12 hours. As an adult and adolescent alcohol treatment, there is no tolerance to disulfiram: the longer it is taken, the stronger its effects. As disulfiram is absorbed slowly through the digestive tract and eliminated slowly by the body the effects may last for up to 2 weeks after the initial intake; consequently, medical ethics dictate that patients must be fully informed about the disulfiram-alcohol reaction. Possible side effects while taking Disulfiram are numbness or tingling of the lower legs and shortness of breath.

Also, disulfiram is usually given to those willing to give up alcoholism. Disulfiram should not be given to patients who are not willing to give up alcohol, for consumption of alcohol in large quantity after taking the drug can lead to severe ill effects.

About Self Employed

Donna Sparks is a Professor and a Consultant Physician. Other than her clinical and local teaching commitments, she also continues to enjoy the privileges of research, writing and lecturing.

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Press Release Submitted On: June 24, 2009 at 2:28 am
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