How About an Alcohol Substitute that Gives Buzz But No Hangover?

How would you like to spend a night drinking then pop a pill that would immediately sober you up so you could drive home? No, it's not science fiction. It's not quite reality yet either, but scientists are working on it.

According to a report in London's The Telegraph, a team led by Professor David Nutt is developing a new alcohol substitute. If the name Nutt sounds familiar to you, it should -- in a highly controversial move, he was recently forced to resign as a British government adviser for his comments on marijuana and ecstasy.

Read all about it on OpposingViews.com: Drug War Not Just American, UK Fires Prof After Pot Comments

The alcohol substitute impacts brain nerves and provides a feeling of well-being and relaxation. But unlike alcohol, its does not affect other parts of the brain that control mood swings and lead to addiction. The most fascinating part? Because it is much more focused in its effects, it can also be switched off with an antidote, leaving the drinker immediately sober.

Nutt and his team are concentrating their efforts on benzodiazepines. Diazepam, which is a "benzo," is the chief ingredient of Valium.

“I’ve been in experiments where I’ve taken benzos,” said Nutt. “One minute I was sedated and nearly asleep, five minutes later I was giving a lecture."

Nutt says just like the alcohol that is in drinks today, the substitute should be tasteless and colorless, leaving those characteristics to the drink it’s in. Eventually it would be used to replace the alcohol content in beer, wine and spirits. Nutt says an added bonus is that the recovered alcohol could then be sold as fuel.

The substitute would be classified as a drug, so government would have to approve it. That process, as well as the research, is expensive. So far Nutt does not have a sponsor, and he says the traditional drink industry has not shown any interest. He's hoping some countries concerned about the ravaging effects of alcohol abuse will step up and pay the bills.


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