Hangovers are a part of life that most of us are familiar with by now. Friday nights full of cocktails and fun will always lead to the inevitable Saturday spent nursing a hangover with a greasy breakfast and bottle of water, but David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacology professor at Imperial College in London has revealed two drugs that cause the user to feel drunk without the nasty side effect of a hangover.
The first of the two wonder-drugs is called ‘alscosynth’, a drink that causes all the ‘I just really love you, man’ effects of being drunk but carries no risk of aggression, loss of control, any of the messy parts of being drunk, and has no hangover attached. He hopes for alscosynth to be marketed as a companion or replacement for alcoholic drinks and will be relatively cheap. It won’t get you drunk to the point of falling over yourself, but it will get a nice buzz going.
There are, however, some concerns about the safety of the drug, which is in the same family as Valium which some experts say is harder to get off than heroin. Nutt says that alscosynth won’t have the same withdrawal symptoms as Valium though, because it interacts with different neuroreceptors, not the ones that cause addiction. A spokesperson from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society made a statement saying there’s still not enough known about the drug to know if it’s safe to market.
Nutt’s second drug is more of a chaperone to drinking and can reduce the effects of alcohol on the body. If it’s taken before drinking it’s impossible to get black-out drunk. If it was widely available it could be used to sober up after a night out or reduce the risk of drunk driving, but Nutt says that the price would have to be set high to avoid abuse.
Nutt says that the new drugs aren’t necessarily just there to help out partiers, but alscosynth could also be used as an alcohol addiction treatment. There’s still a lot of debate as to whether alcohol addiction should be treated with drugs. It’s still clear however, that alcohol abuse is a problem over the UK, so perhaps it’s worth looking into alscosynth as a treatment option.
Whether or not it turns out that Nutt has come up with wonder drugs, they’re still in the early stages of development. Nutt has applied for 85 new chemical compounds in the alcosynth and chaperone families to be licensed and the costs of trials for the drugs are looking like they’ll be over £1 million and Nutt is yet to secure a financial backer.
So what happens if we take both at the same time? Only one way to find out.