Have you ever been out at the bar with your friends, having a good time, throwing back shots and drinking microbrews, and think to yourself, “Man, I wish there was an easier way to get drunk without putting all of this poison into my body.” Well now you can!
Despite the similarities to an infomercial, it’s true. Professor and neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt has developed a compound he’s calling “alcosynth,” a non-toxic inebriant, that can deliver the same effects as alcohol while removing the risks of hangovers, liver toxicity, aggression and loss of control. Though it is in the same class of drugs as benzodiazepines, in the same classification as Valium, Nutt claims that it will be non-addictive and will not cause any symptoms of withdrawal.
Along with “alcosynth,” Nutt has developed a second compound he’s calling “chaperone.” Its purpose would be to attenuate the effects of alcohol, the real kind.
“Take a pill with booze, and it’s impossible to become drunk to the point of incapacitation. The price point would be set quite high, to stop the drug from being abused, but this “sober up pill” could be popped on the way home, reducing drink-driving accidents, and other alcohol-related incidents and crime.”
Though, don’t count on this becoming available anytime soon, as the cost of human trials and legal bills will exceed £1 million, not to mention the notoriously strict drug licensing laws in the UK and Australia. Still, Telegraph reports that “Nutt has applied for patents on 85 new chemical compounds in the alcosynth and chaperone families, which would be licensed to DrugsScience, and the Beckley Foundation, both independent organisations dedicated to research on drugs and drugs policy research.”
inthemix points out that the name David Nutt may sound familiar as “the former chief drug adviser to the UK government fired in 2009 for making the wildly controversial assertion that, statistically, alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful than drugs like MDMA and LSD, and for advocating the decriminalization of marijuana.” Obviously, Dr. Nutt has a penchant for thinking outside of the government-mandated box, and it should be appreciated.
It is important to note that while the risk of chemical addiction to “alcosynth” seems to be non-existent, there is still a very real possibility of physical or psychological addiction, similar to that of marijuana.
Nutt believes that the savings to the NHS and the long-term health benefits to society should convince the Government to take him seriously. Alcohol companies should be intrigued by his new drugs, he claims, from a corporate social responsibility perspective. “The drinks industry should see this as a natural stage in the evolution of their products which will ultimately help them avoid expensive litigation costs,” he explains.
Carlo Gibbs, spokesman for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, was dismissive of Nutt’s claims. “They will have a lot of problems with these compounds under EU law,” he says. “It’s not something our member companies would consider.”
However, every novel idea is initially met with apprehension. Nutt brings up the idea of e-cigarettes, which were dismissed as virtually ineffective for years before they became popular.
“We are incapable of killing alcohol’s allure,” he warns. “This is a battle we cannot win.”