Back in 2010, Professor David Nutt, of Imperial College London, declared alcohol more dangerous than crack cocaine or heroine. Since then, he and his team have been working on an “alcohol substitute” that he hopes will do for alcohol use what the e-cigarette has done for tobacco use—that is to say, begin its decline.
It’s being called a “revolution in health,” this drug. It’s supposed to mimic all of the fun things people enjoy about being drunk, including the uninhibited feeling that leads to so many one-night stands, while eliminating the dangerous side of drinking. The drug is supposed to be hangover-free, and in theory, would have an “antidote” to block its effects in the brain, allowing users to quickly eliminate their buzz so they could drive safely home. Professor Nutt also believes this drug will eliminate alcohol addiction, which leads to a host of health problems, including alcohol poisoning, like that which claimed the life of Amy Winehouse in 2011.
Alcohol addiction is an ugly beast, there’s no denying that. But it bears reminding that moderate and responsible consumption can actually be good for one’s health. Especially if a person’s drink of choice is a beer. Beer has been shown to have a restorative effect on the body, post-workout, and has even been shown to promote bone health. It’s too early to know what sort of longterm effect, positive or negative, the proposed “alcohol substitute” would have on the body.
So far, Professor Nutt is having a hard time finding funding for the drug. He has appealed to the alcohol industry for investors, but none have come forward to contribute.