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Antabuse is a drug that has been around for decades as a treatment for alcoholism. In recent studies, it has been found to be effective, particularly in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy, in treating people recovering from cocaine addiction.
The drug works by causing unpleasant symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, when the patient consumes alcohol. One way it may work with cocaine users is to reduce the chance of social drinking, which can erode the inhibitions that keep them from relapsing. Research suggests that Antabuse may also act to exaggerate the unpleasant effects of cocaine use, thus discouraging future relapses.