Pill Aims to Get You Drunk Without the Hangover

By Shawn Dwyer 11/29/13

London-based professor Dr. David Nutt claims to have found the path to inebriation without the consequences.

He looks like he means well
Photo via Shutterstock

With our ever-increasing reliance on pills for just about everything, is it any wonder that someone out there is trying to develop one that will get you drunk?

Dr. David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at the Imperial College of London, plans to create a pill that mimics the effects of being drunk without the nasty hangover the next morning. In development since 2009, Dr. Nutt’s little pill will act as an alcohol surrogate that targets the gamma aminobutyric acid (Gaba) neurotransmitter subsystems. “We know that the main target for alcohol in the brain is…[the  Gaba], which keeps the brain calm,” he wrote in an editorial for The Guardian. “Alcohol therefore relaxes users through mimicking and increasing the Gaba function.”  Nutt has further claimed to have conducted research where he replaced the ethanol in alcoholic drinks with safer alternatives like benzodiazepine, which he alleged can be “switched off at the end of the night with a ‘sober pill.’” But despite the apparent promise of the pill, Emily Robinson, deputy chief executive of the U.K.-based charity Alcohol Concern, urged caution. “We should focus on what is going wrong in our drinking culture rather than swapping potentially one addictive substance for another,” she told the Telegraph.

Still, the only thing really stopping Nutt from commencing his project is money. “A few contacts within the alcohol industry suggest they are interested but do not need to engage until this new invention becomes a threat to their sales,” Nutt wrote in The Guardian. Perhaps he hasn’t yet heard of Kickstarter?

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.