Photographed by Alice Gao.
How many times have you woken up after one too many work drinks and said “never again?” Our guess is one too many. But, what if we said you could feel tipsy tonight without being hungover tomorrow — all by trading in your cocktail for one little pill. It might sound implausible, but one scientist says he's about to change that.
Former drug advisor for the U.K. government and leading neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt is the brains behind a new wonder drug, which, according to The Independent, “mimics all the positive effects of being drunk without any of the health risks, addiction — or hangovers.” The substitute, like alcohol, affects the brain's neurotransmitters, giving users that relaxed, buzzy feeling. Nutt also believes it would be possible to drive safely after taking it with an antidote he's creating, which would immediately block the pill's effects.
This new development is extremely important and could literally be a lifesaver. The World Health Organization shows that alcohol is responsible for a staggering 2.5 million deaths around the world each year. In his Guardian piece about the drug, Nutt points out that the figure is “more than malaria or AIDS.” He adds, “If alcohol was discovered today, it could never be sold as it is far too toxic to be allowed under current food regulations.”
Just think about that for a second. Alcohol wouldn't pass health standards as they are today, yet binge drinking and the rates of female alcoholism continue to rise. Why is it that we're happy to devote hours to health-proofing our diets but give little thought to pouring ourselves another glass of wine, ordering a round of shots after work, or using the weekend as an excuse to get blind drunk? It shouldn't take facts and figures to alert us, but these numbers are hard to ignore. Reckless alcohol use does not fit in with our health-conscious age. But, would an alcohol substitute change our drinking habits for good? Weigh in with your thoughts below. (The Independent)