Not long ago, Dr. David Nutt was Britain’s top government drugs adviser. He was unfortunately fired from his post in 2009 after he publicly stated that marijuana, Ecstasy, and LSD were all less dangerous drugs than alcohol.
Still, that minor career setback hasn’t stopped Dr. Nutt from doing science. Now a neuropharmacology professor at Imperial College London, Nutt has done research and development on two separate drugs; one is a non-toxic drink that makes you feel tipsy without experiencing the negative side effects of alcohol (including hangovers, liver toxicity, aggression, and loss of control). The second is a pill that reduces the hangover that results from real alcohol if taken simultaneously with your turn up.
The first drug is called “alcosynth,” and it mimics the fun effects of alcohol without the bad parts. Even more importantly, it’s non-toxic—so no more liver damage on a good night out. The inebriant is a derivative of benzodiazepene, better known as Valium—but Dr. Nutt claims that it is non-addictive and will not cause withdrawal symptoms like Valium can.
The second drug is called “chaperone,” and is a pill you take with traditional alcoholic beverages which lessens their effects. This pill lets you get tipsy, but not full-on drunk to the point of incapacitation. The Telegraph refers to this as a “sober-up pill.”
Photo: Flickr/Joan Valencia
Before you get too excited, both drugs are at very preliminary stages of development right now. Nutt has applied for patents for 85 new chemical compounds used in these drugs, which will be licensed to two independent U.K. research organizations called DrugsScience and the Beckley Foundation. But Nutt cautions that if they do manage to pass the U.K.’s drug laws, licensing these two drugs could take between three and five years—and that’s just to release them in the U.K.
So while the day may come when we no longer need the services of The Hangover Club, that day is still a ways off. Regardless, we’re excited that research in this important field is underway, and look forward to reaping the benefits of Dr. Nutt’s hard work in several years.
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