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Antabuse and Other Drugs for Treating Alcoholism

  1. James W. Kalat

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0064

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Kalat, J. W. 2010. Antabuse and Other Drugs for Treating Alcoholism. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. North Carolina State University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Antabuse (disulfiram), a drug used as a supplementary therapy for alcoholism, was originally used in the manufacture of rubber. When the chemical got into the air in one factory and settled on the workers' skin, many developed dermatitis. If they inhaled it, they discovered that they could no longer tolerate alcohol. Beginning in the 1940s, therapists tried using the drug as a therapy for alcoholism, on the theory that alcoholics who drank alcohol after taking Antabuse would experience unpleasant effects and thereby learn an aversion to alcohol.