So, while we don’t have a cure for cancer or AIDS yet, it seems that science is well on its way to taking all the fun out of drinking booze. Tee-totaling party-pooper, I mean neuro-psychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt, claims to have discovered a compound which he calls a possible “safer version of alcohol.”
Much like the fake “synthehol” served on starships in Star Trek: The Next Generation, this compound that Dr. Nutt has discovered would give you some of the relaxed and sleepy inebriation of real alcohol, but allow you to take an antidote immediately relieving you of any impairment what-so-ever.
Nutt, believes that finding a replacement for booze is a moral imperative, he writes in The Guardian:
Alcohol is both one of the oldest and most dangerous drugs, responsible for about 2.5 million deaths worldwide, which is more than malaria or Aids. The reasons for this are well known: alcohol is toxic to all body systems, and particularly the liver, heart and brain. It makes users uninhibited, leading to a vast amount of violence and is also quite likely to cause dependence, so about 10% of users get locked into addiction. If alcohol was discovered today it could never be sold as it is far too toxic to be allowed under current food regulations, let alone pharmaceutical safety thresholds. In this health-conscious age, it is odd that these aspects of alcohol are rarely discussed.
The only proven way to reduce alcohol harms is to limit consumption through increased pricing and limiting availability. Most governments have shied away from this because of pubic opinion and fears of lost tax income – the notable exception being Scotland with its minimum pricing strategy. An alternative strategy that offers greater health benefits would be to make a safer version of alcohol.
The Sugar Act of 1764 drove the cost of rum up for the Colonists and led to the rallying cry of “no taxation without representation” and ultimately the greatest revolution in all of recorded history. I say pushing this fake stuff on us should result in the same response.