'Hangover-free alcohol' could take place of usual liquor by 2050
In a first of its kind, a new type of synthetic alcohol has been discovered which would allow people to booze and get tipsy without leaving any signs of hangover that usually follows.
London: In a first of its kind, a new type of synthetic alcohol has been discovered which would allow people to booze and get tipsy without leaving any signs of hangover that usually follows.
According to its creator Professor David Nutt, the drink is known as 'alcosynth' and is designed to mimic the positive effects of alcohol but it doesn't cause a dry mouth, nausea and a throbbing head.
Nutt told The Independent he has patented around 90 different alcosynth compounds.
Two of them are now being rigorously tested for widespread use and by 2050 alcosynth could completely replace normal alcohol.
"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. They 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," he said.
By researching substances that work on the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Nutt and his team have been able to design a drug which they say is non-toxic and replicates 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. 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," he said.
Advocates of alcosynth believe it could revolutionize public health by relieving the burden of alcohol on the health service.
Early experiments into alcosynth used a derivative of benzodiazepine, the same class of drugs as Valium.
Nutt said his new drinks did not contain benzodiazepine and their formulas would remain a closely guarded, patented secret.
However, the huge cost of funding research into the drug and regulatory concerns mean it could be a long time before people can order an alcosynth cocktail at their local pub.
Nutt, who was sacked from his position as the government drugs tsar in 2009 after he claimed taking ecstasy was less dangerous than riding a horse, said he was unsure if the use of synthetic alcohol would be restricted by the new Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into force in May.
"It's an interesting idea, but too much in its infancy at the moment for us to comment on," a Department of Health spokesperson told.
Adding, "I don't think we'd give money to it until it was a little further along. If [Nutt] were to apply for funding, it would go through the process of everything else and would be judged on its merits."
According to Nutt, the effects of alcosynth last around a couple of hours, the same as traditional alcohol.
He and his team have also managed to limit the effects of drinking a lot of alcosynth, so in theory it would be impossible to ever feel too 'drunk'.
"We think the effects round out at about four or five 'drinks', then the effect would max out," he said.
Adding, "We haven't tested it to destruction yet, but it's safer than drinking too much alcohol. With clever pharmacology, you can limit and put a ceiling on the effects, so you can't ever get as ill or kill yourself, unlike with drinking a lot of vodka."
Researcher Guy Bentley, who worked on a new report into alcosynth regulation and hoped to persuade the government to accept the drug as a way of reducing the harm caused by alcohol.
"[The report] is trying to spark what happened with e-cigarettes and tobacco, but with alcohol, Nutt has been experimenting on this for a long time, but I thought to myself - 'where is it?' I wanted my hangover-free booze," he said.