Thanks to e-cigarettes, you can enjoy smoking without the smoke. And now it might be possible to get drunk without drinking.
Dr. David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College of London, has identified the brain chemical that responds to alcohol by relaxing users. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) keeps the brain calm, and alcohol both enhances and simulates its effect. Dr. Nutt told BBC Radio 4 that it’s possible to create a compound which mimics GAMA the same way alcohol does. He also claims that experiments have shown the effects of his compound to be identical to alcohol intoxication.
Dr. Nutt sees numerous benefits of an alcohol substitute that gives users the feeling of being drunk. The compound could provide users with the feeling of well-being they normally receive from alcohol without the detrimental effects that the substance has on the body. Dr. Nutt also points to the possibility of an antidote to this compound that would immediately negate its effects. Theoretically, users would be able to become intoxicated with one pill and then sober up with another, which would reduce drunken driving. And, of course, users could enjoy a big night out without a big hangover greeting them in the morning.
If such a compound does become available to the public then it probably won’t happen for years. Dr. Nutt is currently seeking investors to help him develop this compound, but that isn’t the biggest roadblock to seeing it next to bottles of Five-Hour Energy at your local corner store. The legalization of any substance that gives you a buzz is likely to meet a tsunami of resistance from concerned citizens and politicians who represent them. Still, the idea of getting drunk without alcohol is now more than a drunken dream.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]