If I told you that you could enjoy the social aspects of a few drinks without the throbbing head, dry mouth and general nausea that follow the next day, would you believe me?
In a bold statement to The Independent, Mr. Nutt said that “the drinks industry knows that by 2050 alcohol will be gone.” He believes people want healthier drinks, and he is just the man to provide them with an alternative. By researching substances that work on the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Professor Nutt and his team have designed a drug which they claim is non-toxic and mimics the positive effects of alcohol.
“We know a lot about the brain science of alcohol; it’s become very well understood in the last 30 years,” said Professor Nutt. “So we know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them. And by not touching the bad areas, we don’t have the bad effects.”
But, how does it work?
“It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they’ll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you’ll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” Nutt said. “[Alcosynths] go very nicely into mojitos. They even go into something as clear as a Tom Collins. One is pretty tasteless, the other has a bitter taste.”
Fans of alcosynth believe it could relieve the burden of alcohol on the public health system. But naysayers aren’t so sure.
So, what’s the catch?
Nutt hasn’t revealed many details about how alcosynth is actually made. He said he’s waiting until his intellectual property rights are secured, but he has shared that the amount of alcosynth required to mimic the effects of alcohol are minimal by comparison.
Scott Edwards, an assistant professor of physiology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center of Excellence spoke to Live Science about the unknown side effects of any new substance we consume.
“One of the most dangerous aspects of any ingested substance—from fashionable street drugs to e-cigarettes—is not knowing exactly what chemicals are contained in the final formulation,” he said.
For now, Mr. Nutt is remaining tight-lipped about his secret formula, but he hopes to eventually persuade the government to accept his new formula as a way of reducing the harm caused by alcohol.
“I want to stop the carnage!” Nutt told Live Science, noting that alcohol kills 4 million people worldwide each year.
Cheers to that.