back to article Brit boffin brews INSTANT HANGOVER RELIEF

Professor David Nutt, a boffin who has advised the UK government on drugs policy and now holds the Edmond J Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, is brewing a new drug that will replicate the sensations produced by alcohol but also be instantly reversible and not produce hangovers. Speaking to the …

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Pint

Presumably sales of kebabs and bacon sandwiches should be unaffected if the drug is doing its job properly, just the fizzy vitamin water sales will... erm... fizzle.

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Happy

Well, sales of kebabs should only be effected if people are forced to take the antidote before leaving the pub. That would be disastrous for the trade, as nobody eats them sober.

However bacon sandwiches will be totally unaffected, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY TOTALLY DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! Even vegetarians know this, and it's why they fear their weakness.

Perhaps Professor Nutt ought to be concentrating on a chemical which gives all the pleasure of bacon-y yumminess - without the unfortunate side-effects of addiction and heart trouble. If his chemical could also replicate the nice cuppa that goes with the sandwich, then all the better.

Then I'd wake up every morning, reach for my bedside table glass of water and bacon-sarnie-and-cuppa pill, and be set up for the day.

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Meh. Hangovers and drunk sick are healthy responses that go a long way in teaching you how not to kill yourself with alcohol poisoning. Sure, the occasional hangover is pretty much guaranteed, but remembering how shitty it was last time and not drinking so much this time is a big part of learning how to drink properly. I think hangovers are valuable.

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Young people only have (relatively) mild hangovers, but the older we get the worse the hangovers are. Any educational value of hangovers would surely be improved if the situation was reversed.

Besides, we are talking about no longer getting any alcohol poisoning whatsoever with these new drugs.

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0 -> drunk...why? or is this a new horizon?

"... no longer getting any alcohol poisoning whatsoever..."

Correct, so this can be something unique. However, even if his statements and claims are 100% truthful about his new found affect, becoming drunk is a gradual decay that can be managed. So for full blown alch's, this might be very good news, but for those of us that like the gradual decay of perception...well let's just say I don't see how going from 0 -> drunk is a great new curve to the appreciation of drinking.

That being said, what if I took 100 of these pills at once? Could I experience something that was once impossible due to poisoning? If your really think about it, there might be a new horizon of reality if you "overdose" on such a thing.

P.S. I PROMISE I posted this drunk...I'm fuck'n wrecked. Great FIRST article to read right now...GREAT!

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"Sure, the occasional hangover is pretty much guaranteed,..."

Bleh. Try hydrating when drinking. The majority of hangover symptoms are due to dehydration.

Dehydration is a bigger deal with alcohol, as it dilutes alcohol and its metabolites, as well as provides the proper isotonic balance for your body.

While the body may tolerate some degree of dehydration normally, alcohol, like many other toxic substances, which intoxicating substances are by nature in larger does, exacerbates the problem and hence, symptoms.

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You obviously dont drink enough...

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Anonymous Coward

@Martin Budden

"Young people only have (relatively) mild hangovers, but the older we get the worse the hangovers are".

Very probably true - provided the same amount of the same drink is taken. In my case, however, the amounts I consumed when young were very considerably greater than I would ever tackle nowadays. So my hangovers as a young man were much worse.

Someone who, given those circumstances, is unable to drink less as the years go by is in a truly wretched situation.

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Facepalm

> Hangovers and drunk sick are healthy responses that go a long way in teaching you how not to kill yourself

Really ?

In that case, I suggest recreating the effects of a hangover by drinking a thimble full of washing up liquid and banging your head agaisnt a wall a few times.

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What the wizard said ^^^^

Alternating a glass of water between drinks is a great way to slow down onset of drunken-ness and also to avoid or at least minimise morning-after symptoms

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If you're sober enough to remember to do that, you don't need to do it.

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Good luck to him, but does he not remember how he was dismissed from his government position as drugs policy advisor? Of all people, his "hopes the UK government can set that to rights" seem a bit optimistic.

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Pint

Missing the point

I drink beer because it tastes good, not just because it has ethanol in it.

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Re: Missing the point

If that was true then lite beer wouldn't taste like shit.....

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Re: Missing the point

Maybe he doesn't drink lite beer. More to the point, explain non-alcoholic beer.

We won't mention US beer between prohibition and the 1990s, there's no good explanation for that.

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Re: Missing the point

"I drink beer because it tastes good, not just because it has ethanol in it."

I drink distilled spirits because they have ethanol in them.

I drink coffee because it has caffeine in it.

I drink various teas because they taste good, I get my caffeine from my coffee.

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Re: Missing the point

"We won't mention US beer between prohibition and the 1990s, there's no good explanation for that."

Sure there is. All of the quality brew masters departed the land for nations where they were permitted to earn a living.

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Re: Missing the point

"Sure there is. All of the quality brew masters departed the land for nations where they were permitted to earn a living."

Leaving only substandard brewers to work for Budweiser.....

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Happy

"Leaving only substandard brewers to work for Budweiser....."

No.

It's prohibition

No alcohol allowed.

Maybe only the substandard brew masters came back

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Pint

Re: Thorne and others

Lite beer is not real beer

Budweiser is not real beer

Alchohol free beer is not real beer

Real Ale is real beer. The clue is in the name.

Now can we have a proper pint glass with dimples and a handle icon please? (Or a tankard would also do). --->

(Obviously someone drinks those other things. I don't quite understand why, but each to their own)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Missing the point

I heard the guy on Radio 4 and he mentioned that it is not about the buzz alone. He talked about cocktails etc

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RE: "Lite beer wouldn't taste like shit"

Budweiser is not a 'lite beer' and it tastes like weak fizzy piss...

Yet I have had some real nice non-alcoholic German beers before, there is a real nice wheat beer that is non-alcoholic and very refreshing...

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Re: Thorne and others

Of course alcohol free beer is not real beer; it's the stuff you drink when you don't want alcohol but still want something cold that's vaguely beer-flavored instead of cola-flavored.

And Budweiser isn't made for a UK climate. If you're in the US Midwest, where the stuff is made, and a summer day is 95F outside (35C or so), and 95% humidity, and you've been out mowing the grass or doing other hot work, when you come inside you're not going to drink Real Ale. You want something much lighter and colder than that, and a very cold Budweiser is absolutely perfect, followed by another very cold Budweiser.

Here in San Francisco? Real Ale is just the right thing.

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Re: Hot day? Forced to do work?

Ah - you mean cider drinking conditions :)

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Re: Thorne and others

@Bill Stewart, nope you drink Cerveza if it's that hot.

Not that US pisswater.

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Pint

Hmm, I cannot really see what market he is trying to tap here, as getting drunk without beer sounds worse that getting a hangover from low-alcohol beers (yes, I do get them!) without having the buzz.

The only two places it might be of use would be in-patient alcoholics and perhaps to keep astronauts happy up in the space station.

On the other hand, if you get the beer goggles effect without the trouser issues, I can see a use if one's partner is a minger...

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Well I guess they could always put it in non alcoholic beer.

Come to think of it, that might make it a little more palatable to regulators too.

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"Well I guess they could always put it in non alcoholic beer."

"Does it make a good mixer with Scotch?

I'll let ye know."

-Montgomery Scott

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I think the idea is that it's interruptible - get pissed, eat a charcoal biscuit (or whatever it is) and be sober in 20 mins. Result. I'd take that.

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Happy

Re:"Does it make a good mixer with Scotch?

:Wrong series- sounds more like the joyless STNG Synthohol.

Besides- it'll never get a licence - it's a 'legal high" Shock Horror Probe!!

Expect Prof Nutt to end up in jail for this...

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"Getting drunk without beer" is called "smoking a joint". Sometimes that's what you want, or you might want something else in that space that's a bit more controllable.

Dr. Nutt is trying to do social engineering on UK drugs policy. He's the guy who got fired from his job as medical advisor on drugs policy for saying that drugs policy ought to be guided by science and medicine rather than by the political correctness of the drug prohibition police. And good for him.

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Reality

It will be up to the government to decide if this substance is allowed to be sold to the public. The drinks industry is very wealthy and gives money to the government and also pays lots of taxes and excise duty to the government. Hence, the government will not allow this 'alcohol replacement' to be sold.

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Re: Reality

"Hence, the government will not allow this 'alcohol replacement' to be sold."

Unless the drink industry starts selling it. Their current product has a design flaw: hangovers. Hangover-free booze? There's a market for that, and there's an existing, mammoth industry able to produce and distribute Booze II. Or Synthahol? Wonder Beer?

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Re: Reality

I think you'll find the excise duty on any new legal drug will be enough satisfy both the government and the makers of other legal drugs. There's already a wide variety of alcohols on the market showing different people have different tastes.

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They've invented synthohol.

you know... from star trek.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They've invented synthohol.

Now we just need the replicators to go with it!

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Trollface

Why bother at all ?

must be missing something here. Why would anyone want to inflict cognictive incapability on themselves ? Does profs brew mean more polite brawls outside night clubs ?

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Re: Why bother at all ?

It means the scientific conferences Prof. Nutt attends are going to be just as fun in the evening, but without the otherwise inevitably sparse audience for the poor sod giving his talk at 9:00 the next morning.

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Cost and taste?

If this isnt very cheap to make, I dont see it replacing normal beer/wine/vodka/moonshine.

Besides, isnt the main problem with non-alcoholic beer to get the taste right without getting alcohol produced?

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Unhappy

Part of his point is the *serious* damage alcohol does to a brain.

I once saw 2 brain slices side by side.

Heroin addict Vs alcoholic.

Heroin addicts brain looks normal.

Alcoholic's has holes in it where the brain cells were killed. IE sponge.

Yet one is a class A drug and the other has a legally sanctioned network of govt approved taxed dealers.

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Re: Part of his point is the *serious* damage alcohol does to a brain.

I don't disagree that alcohol can have some pretty nasty side effects, if abused, and I don't believe that criminalisation of drugs works, but are you seriously putting heroin alongside a pint of bitter in terms of danger?

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are you seriously putting heroin alongside a pint of bitter in terms of danger?

Yes,

Which drugs are legal and which are not and the whole illegal drugs classification thing has bugger all correlation to.

a) How addictive the drug is

or

b) How dangerous the drug is.

Note that even 'How dangerous the drug is.' is a misleading statement as it give zero idea as to dosage or other activities performed while taking the drug.

Boffin Nutt was sacked for trying to explain this to a government in thrall to the Daily Mail.

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"Boffin Nutt was sacked for trying to explain this to a government in thrall to the Daily Mail."

No, he was sacked for failing to understand that the deal with being a government advisor is that you're not allowed to do political campaigning at the same time. He thought "advisor" meant "commander" and then went whinging across the media when the government didn't do what he told them.

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Re: are you seriously putting heroin alongside a pint of bitter in terms of danger?

Its not JUST how addictive a drug is, but how addictive your personality is, some people can't give up smoking.. Some can't give up drinking...

But others can easily take it or leave it, don't suggest everyone who drinks the odd drink is as bad as someone who shoots up with heroin.

But saying that I do think that if someone wants to take a drug like Marijuana or Opium, why stop them? it is their life and what right does the government have to say what they do with it? the problems we have with drugs and related crime is more down to the banning of it than the sale of it.

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Unhappy

Re: are you seriously putting heroin alongside a pint of bitter in terms of danger?

"Which drugs are legal and which are not and the whole illegal drugs classification thing has bugger all correlation to.

a) How addictive the drug is

or

b) How dangerous the drug is.

Note that even 'How dangerous the drug is.' is a misleading statement as it give zero idea as to dosage or other activities performed while taking the drug."

True.

I'd be prepared to bet that neither Alcohol nor Tobacco (two of the biggest public health problem causing drugs) would pass modern product licensing.

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But does it taste like ethanol?

Ethanol is a key pert of what makes booze taste nice. If these molecules do not impart the same flavour then the drinks they go in won't be booze-replacements at all. They'll be brand new drinks that make you a bit fuzzy-headed.

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Nobel Prize

Also, Victoria Cross, Légion d'honneur, Pullitzer, and every single Boy Scout badge.

I await with interest the inevitable shitstorm of bogus moral outrage from corrupt, booze-addled, rent-boy-renting rent-a-rant columnists, MPs and other unqualified moral arbiters.

Seriously though - the discovery, testing and eventual sale of safe legal highs would be the best way to pull the rug out from the narco-military-industrial complex

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Will it taste better than the wines and spirits I usually enjoy? How will it pair with different kinds of food? Will it enhance my anticipation of a delicious dinner as a good aperitif is supposed to do?

While it can be argued - and accompanied by vigorous hand-waving - that "the sensation of alcohol" may help, say, a freer flow of conversation and maybe some other social activities at the dinner table, such an ersatz does not seem all that compelling to me.

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Re: such an ersatz does not seem all that compelling to me

If it comes with lower life and health insurance premiums, it might.

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Anonymous Coward

Charlatan

Of course, if I were David Nutt, beavering away developing a new designer drug called 'synthetic alcohol' and I stood to make a bazillion quid or two from patents and license fees, what would I have to do before it could be sold on the streets? Oh yes, demonise alcohol by claiming it's more dangerous than LSD, persuade government to raise alcohol prices beyond the ordinary pocket so my drug would be the obvious 'cheaper' alternative, and naturally declassify entirely (or reduce the classification of) all similar drugs. That will do nicely.

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