by Zary Fekete


Disulfiram, better known as Antabuse, is a medication which is commonly used in tablet form for the treatment of alcohol addiction. The patient is advised by most doctors to swallow one pill every day, preferably with a meal.

The medication is usually prescribed for patients who have advanced into the later stages of alcoholism where self-will is not enough to ward off the temptation to drink. After a patient has taken Disulfiram they are strongly admonished not to take a drink, because the medication causes a strong allergic reaction to ethanol, mimicking the effect of a prolonged hangover. When mixed with even a small amount of alcohol the medication will immediately cause the afflicted person to experience a variety of extremely unpleasant effects such as throbbing in the head and neck, violent nausea, chest pain, vertigo, and copious vomiting.

In a way, the purpose of the medication is to communicate to the patient who has just consumed alcohol, “This is where your behavior is ultimately leading you.”

My wife and I have decided that I will take Disulfiram every morning and that she will observe me. I place the small, white pill on my tongue, I swallow two mouthfuls of water, and then I show my wife my empty tongue to prove to her that I swallowed the pill.

This system has worked very well for us. In addition to preventing me from drinking alcohol this procedure has also prevented several other side effects of alcoholism such as: disappointing and embarrassing my children around their friends, leading my family to doubt my love for them, and generalized heartbreak.

It is worth noting that Disulfiram has also been proven successful in treating Retinus Pigmentosa, a condition that affects the eyesight of rats. Knowing myself as I do, I am happy to be in such good company.


Zary Fekete has worked as a teacher in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia. They currently live and work as a writer in Minnesota. Some places they have been published are Goats Milk Mag, Journal of Expressive Writing, SIC Journal, Reflex Fiction, and Zoetic Press. They enjoy reading, podcasts, and long, slow films. Twitter: @ZaryFekete