College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Can Disulfiram Precipitate Urges To Drink Alcohol?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1983

Keywords

Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholism, Disulfiram, Disulfiram

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors

ISSN

0306-4603

Volume

8

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

Although pharmacological data suggest that patients taking disulfiram should have a reduced desire to drink alcohol, voluntary compliance with disulfiram treatment is quite poor. As a possible explanation for why so many patients discontinue taking disulfiram and return to excessive drinking, it was hypothesized that daily disulfiram administration might serve as a cognitive stimulus precipitating urges to drink alcohol and/or inadvertently exposing patients to additional drinking-related cues. If this is the case, then patients taking disulfiram should report more thoughts about or urges to drink alcohol. In an exploratory, uncontrolled clinical study, alcohol abusers who were taking disulfiram tended to self-record more cravings for alcohol over a two week period than did abstinent patients who were not taking disulfiram. Controlled research is needed to investigate whether disulfiram use may serve as a cue antecedent to relapse to drinking.

DOI

10.1016/0306-4603(83)90027-8

ResearchID/ORCID ID

0000-0001-7705-3993