Research Article

Probation linked supervised disulfiram in the treatment of habitual drunken offenders: results of a pilot study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.287.6401.1282 (Published 29 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1282
  1. C Brewer,
  2. J Smith

    Abstract

    Sixteen habitual drunken offenders agreed to take disulfiram in liquid form under supervision as a condition of a probation order. They knew that failure to take medication, as with failure to observe any other condition of probation, could result in their being returned to court. Three defaulted but only two of the remainder committed further offences. Nine were entirely successful. At the end of the study the average period of abstinence for the whole group was 30 weeks compared with six weeks during the previous two years. Nine risked drinking alcohol but none suffered any serious consequences or side effects. This technique may be a judicially acceptable and more hopeful alternative to prison for these offenders.