It is approximately the size of a petit pois pea, mimics the effects of alcohol in the form of pleasure and disinhibition, carries zero health issues and comes with an antidote to instantly turn you sober. Interested?
Professor David Nutt of the Imperial College London, is in the early stages of developing a drug that replicates the procedures of alcohol on your body without both long term and short term side-effects including kidney challenges, addiction, hangovers and dehydration.
Due to the immediate impact of the drug on the brain the outcomes can be easily reversed through an antidote pill, offering those who want to go out and feel drunk the potential to drive home safely in the morning after taking the antidote pill.
Crucially, the drug will also refrain from initiating other parts of the brain that commonly spark unwanted change in personal traits that are associated with alcohol. It should be plausible to chemically tweak the pill in order for people to remain in a pleasant state, irrelevant to how much drink they may have also had.
Professor Nutt, a former government drugs advisor, has experimented with the drug himself and says: “I’ve done the prototype experiments, I know the antidote works. I was in a state of intoxication and five minutes later I was giving a lecture.’
“You can produce a whole range of effects like alcohol by manipulating the brain and you can always find an antidote for it, so you have the pleasure of being inebriated, take another drug, wake up, sober up and drive home safely.”
The health implications of such a drug aims to reduce the amount of those with health issues or addicted to alcohol, the Professor believes it could save the NHS millions whilst playing a pivotal role in todays society, replicating the success of e-cigarretes in smoking.
The pill in development is created from several derivatives of benzodiazepine, a chemical related to Valium, and directly targets the brains neurotransmitters to offer the indistinguishable effects of drinking.
Benzodiazepine anxiolytics is a drug currently prescribed for the short-term relief of apprehension, or where disorders are causing both significant personal issues and substantial impairment of daily activities
Valium is another medication used to counter anxiety although the quantities used in Professor Nutt’s drug is of significant lower value.
The Professor claims that thousands of Benzodiazepine candidates are already known to science and it is just a matter of identifying the closest match to alcohol effects, baring in mind the brain contains more nerve cells in the brain to identify then there are stars in the milky way.
With alcohol-related illness costing the NHS £3.5billion a year Professor Nutt has labelled the scientific discovery ‘a serious revolution in health’. His team have currently hit a wall in their proposal to fund the drug’s development with little interest from drinks businesses.
He believes that the influence of the powerful drinks industry could be deterring potential investors and is determined to see the product reach markets because it could dramatically reduce alcohol-related addiction, heart and liver matters.
Alcohol is a sedative drug, as it reaches our brain it slows down the transmission of impulses between nerve cells that control our ability to think and move. Short-term repercussions include, blurred vision, a change in the control of inhibition, and a warped perception, attention and judgement.
Long term effects include higher blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, liver conditions and mental health issues, or any other health challenges, alcohol may cause heightened health concerns than it does the average person.
Professor Nutt’s discovery could unlock a healthier option to diminish a society that thrives on weekends of binge drinking, a tool to help alcoholics and an offering to decrease drink driving crimes if funding and research can be sustained over the next few years.
How do you feel about the concept of taking a pill opposed to drinking alcohol ?