A behavioural-pharmacological treatment of dually addicted patients

Ira Liebson, George Bigelow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methadone maintenance appears to be an effective means of treating narcotic addiction both because it blocks the effects of heroin and because patients are willing to accept methadone treatment. However, alcoholism has been found commonly to complicate methadone maintenance and to result in treatment failure. The regular ingestion of disulfiram, a drug which blocks ethanol metabolism, could provide a solution to this problem, but alcoholics tend not to persist in taking this drug, because unlike methadone it possesses no reinforcing properties. This paper describes a novel technique whereby the reinforcing action of methadone has been employed to maintain disulfiram-taking, and thus to arrest alcohol abuse and consequent treatment failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-405
Number of pages3
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1972

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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