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Disulfiram is an alcohol deterrent drug that has been in use for over 50 years. It interrupts the metabolism of alcohol by irreversibly inhibiting aldehyde dehydrogenase, thereby blocking the breakdown of acetaldehyde to acetate. When a patient taking disulfiram drinks alcohol, the accumulation of acetaldehyde results in facial flushing, nausea and vomiting, headache, and changes in blood pressure. The patient's fear of this disulfiram-alcohol reaction, particularly after experiencing it, is presumed to serve as a strong reinforcement for abstinence.

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