Finally: British Scientists Create Hangover-Free Alcohol

2009-01-04 VB - FakeAlcoholPill
© Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Last time it was alcohol distilled into a pill. That was pretty neat – better than pretty neat, actually – but it still left the possibility of taking one or two or seven too many pills and waking up with a vicious hangover. Ostensibly the pill was supposed to help drinkers regulate their intake, though for obvious reasons the phrase “alcohol pill” doesn’t cause our minds to leap to thoughts of moderation. Enter the greatest invention humankind has devised since the last greatest invention humankind had devised, pill-deactivated non-alcoholic alcohol.

The idea here – and you’ll excuse us for the imprecision, since obviously there’s powerful magic involved that’s beyond our grasp – is that British scientists have invented an alcohol-like substance that simulates the effect alcohol has on the brain. So far so good, though not particularly innovative. Any relaxant can kind of sort of do that.

What’s special here is that they’ve also developed a pill that reverses the effects, instantly sobering you up. So if you need to drive home; or to reason with party-breaking authorities; or to confirm that the creature you’re taking home is actually attractive – you just take the antidote pill. BAM:

The new substance could have the added bonus of being “switched off” instantaneously with a pill, to allow drinkers to drive home or return to work. The synthetic alcohol, being developed from chemicals related to Valium, works like alcohol on nerves in the brain… unlike alcohol its does not affect other parts of the brain that control mood swings and lead to addiction…. it can also be switched off with an antidote, leaving the drinker immediately sober. The new alcohol is being developed by a team at Imperial College London, led by Professor David Nutt… He envisions a world in which people could drink without getting drunk, he said. No matter how many glasses they had, they would remain in that pleasant state of mild inebriation and at the end of an evening out, revellers could pop a sober-up pill that would let them drive home.

We’re not sure about the whole “not getting drunk” thing, since self-destructive binge drinking is sometimes what people are going for. Though that’s kind of question-begging, since the whole point of this chemical is to prevent self-destructive binge drinking. And in any case, honestly: Science! Is there anything it can’t do?

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