Hangover-Free Alcohol Could Replace Regular Alcohol in the Next Few Years

This is not a drill – alcohol that doesn’t result in a hangover is coming to a bar near you.

Just imagine, having drinks with friends on a Friday night without the worry of waking up the next morning with a pounding headache. With the discovery of a new type of synthetic alcohol called “alcosynth,” the hangover and its nasty effects of dry mouth, headache and nausea will be a thing of the past.

Alcosynth was developed by Imperial College Professor and former government drugs advisor David Nutt, and mimics all the fun properties of alcohol without resulting in the traits of a hangover. So far, Nutt has patented around 90 different alcosynth compounds.

“It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they’ll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you’ll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” Nutt told the Independent. “They go very nicely into mojitos. One is pretty tasteless, the other has a bitter taste.”

Alcosynth probably won’t be on your favorite bartender’s shelf next year, but the day when you no longer have to tell your boss some bogus lie about why you can’t come to work could come soon. The alcosynth compounds are now being put through various tests and Nutt hopes that by 2050, it could completely replace regular alcohol.

According to Nutt, the drink industry has been expecting the demise of traditional alcohol for some time now. “People want healthier drinks,” Nutt said. “They [drink industry] know that and have been planning for this for at least 10 years. But they don’t want to rush into it, because they’re making so much money from conventional alcohol.”

Professor Nutt has been a somewhat controversial figure in his field. He was let go from his government position as drug tsar in 2009, after claiming that taking ecstasy was less dangerous than horseback riding (please don’t conduct your own field experiment on this claim). Early experiments into alcosynth used a derivative of benzodiazepine – similar to valium – to mimic the positive effects of alcohol on the brain, though Nutt has said this latest version does not.

A U.K. Department of Health spokesperson said that while it would be “great for producing better workforce efficiency” the idea was still too new and likely wouldn’t receive funding until it was more developed and could “be judged on its merits.”

Unlike regular alcohol, Nutt said that he’s found a way to put a cap on the effects of alcosynth; meaning that regardless of how many drinks you had, you would probably never reach the point of blacking out. Nutt said that while his team has not yet “tested it to destruction”, it’s safer than traditional alcohol. “We think the effects round out at about four or five ‘drinks’, then the effect would max out.”

One of Nutt’s researchers, Guy Bentley, told the Independent that they’re trying to forge a similar path as e-cigarettes in regards to their alternative to tobacco. Currently, drinking-related diseases and deaths are the third biggest health risk in the U.K., after smoking and obesity.

Of course, not everyone is going to be onboard with the idea of a hangover-free alcohol. Some people are going to hold onto the belief that if you drink in excess, that pounding headache is just your body’s way of calling you out on being a dumbass. Still, it’s difficult not to want to raise a glass up and toast the idea of saying goodbye to hangovers… forever.

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