Future Generations May Never Know The Torture of a Hangover Because of This Pill

While you might rely on a bottle of Gatorade and 48 hours of don’t-disturb-me-or-you-die sleep, there’s a possibility that your children may never know the torment that is a hangover. And just like so many instant fixes before it, it’s all because of a pill. Of course, you can find hangover pills at just about any 7-11, but this pill actually has some science to back it up.

David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacology professor at Imperial College London and former government drugs adviser, developed two pills that mimic the feeling of being drunk, without the negative effects that set in the next day. The first pill contains “alscosynth,” a non-toxic inebriant drink that induces the drunk feelings that lead one to decide that dancing on the table is a must, but doesn’t bring on aggression, loss of control, or the pounding headache and nausea that sets in Monday morning. As Nutt simply put, “It targets the parts of the brain that give the good effects of alcohol, but not those that give the bad effects.” Yeah, it has the power to be a happy hour game changer.

Like any miracle drug, though, it has its criticisms, most notably for the alcosynth, a benzodiazepine derivative very similar to valium that some worry will be addictive.

Nutt’s second pill is the stuff that binge-drinking frat boys dream of: a pill that allows one to pound multiple cans of (insert cheap beer of choice) without becoming drunk to the point of total incapacitation. The drug that makes this possible is called “chaperone” and attenuates the effects of alcohol. Advocates of the drug boast it as a possible solution for sobering up after a night out or enduring day-long drinking events like sporting events without the consequences of blacking out before the game’s over.

The biggest argument that Nutt makes for them isn’t their potential marketability towards college students on spring break, but as a treatment for alcohol addiction. “I would hope alcoholism would disappear as people stopped using alcohol,” he says. “But before that, alcoholics might find alcosynth helps them reduce their drinking.” Alcohol is one of the most harmful drugs in soceiety, and is tied to obesity, violent crime, life expectancy, and economic productivity. But as Nutt points out, it’s not going away because people like to drink.

“If alcohol was treated as a toxic compound in the same manner as benzene or other lethal chemicals, the maximum amount you would be permitted to consume would be one wine glass a year,” says Nutt. “But it is exempt from toxic control measures because we like to drink.”

It’s not likely that we’ll see Nutt’s magic booze pill on liquor store shelves anytime soon, though. Development of the pill currently has a $1.5 million price tag, with no backer to fund the cost of the 85 new chemical compounds in the alcosynth and chaperone families that will need to be researched.

So while it may be a buzzkill that you’ll still have to deal with that hangover the old fashioned way if you choose to have four too many on a Saturday night, some things should remain with consequences. After all, what’s the fun in lining up a row of Jäger shots if there’s no risk.

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