“This is Disulfiram, which blocks the metabolism of acetaldehyde, the main metabolite of ethanol. Alcohol builds up acetaldehyde and makes the drinker sick.”
You know as writers we gather snippets of information and imagery that stay with us? This is one of those. Probably 20 years ago, as part of a casual conversation, a friend of a friend (and I still remember who it was) said that his mother used Antabuse secretly on her husband, stirring it into his breakfast. Everybody knew but him, and as he’d take a drink in the early afternoon, then be sick, they’d all know why.
People thought this was funny. I thought it was horrible at two levels. The fact that everyone except the man knew what was going on, so the life he lived was not the life he thought he lived. And the fact that this was her only defence against an alcoholic husband. She was pushed to this because he didn’t act himself.