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Can You Drink on Antabuse?

Antabuse, or disulfiram, is a medication that is meant to prevent alcoholics in recovery from relapsing by making them violently ill after drinking. It works by blocking an enzyme that your body needs to metabolize alcohol. Instead of metabolizing alcohol normally, the process is interrupted part way, causing the toxic byproduct acetaldehyde to build up to five or ten times the normal level. This buildup of acetaldehyde damages the liver, where alcohol is primarily metabolized, and it also damages other tissues, including the pancreas, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol causes an Antabuse reaction as the acetaldehyde quickly builds up. You would likely get a headache, terrible nausea, blurred vision, and elevated heart rate. In short, you will feel absolutely terrible as your body tries to rid itself of alcohol as fast as possible before it does serious damage to your organs.

Not only can you not drink, you should also stay away from products that contain even trace amounts of alcohol–mouthwash, cologne, perfume, antiperspirant, astringent skin care products, and aftershave. Even the small amount of alcohol in these products can cause an Antabuse reaction.

Antabuse takes about two weeks to leave your system so you should consider yourself to be on Antabuse until two weeks after your last dose. Drinking before then will risk illness.

If you feel you are still inclined to drink, despite being on a medication to block the ability to drink, you may want to look at your drinking behaviors. Alcoholic behavior reaches far beyond the simplicity of how much you drink. The deeply rooted why of your drinking is what would define your alcoholism. Why would you need to drink on antabuse is the real question you should be asking yourself. Not being able to imagine even a short period of time without drinking at the quantity you normally do is a sign of alcoholism.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168