Sinister moves are afoot to replace old faithful ethanol with a cocktail of drugs engineered to mimic its effects. Bristol professor David Nutt reckons chemicals called partial agonists offer a turn off the Yellow Puke Road and into beerless drugtopia.
He claims: “The benefits to society could be so profound.”
The technology, mooted in The Journal of Psychopharmacology, hijacks receptors in the brain called GABA-As. These signallers are associated with the positive effects of drink like confidence, openness and inflated sense of one's own attractiveness. Some of the many subtypes are responsible for less desirable behaviours; falling over, aggression, karaoke.
Nutt's plan is to target only the benefits with a potent mix of partial agonists that wouldn't press the negative buttons. What's more, the drunkard's compulsory attempt at sobering up by chomping spoonfuls of dry Gold Blend would be replaced by a hit of an instant antidote drug called flumazenil.
While liver failure admissions to casualty would doubtless plummet, surely such a endless, risk free intoxication is the greatest threat to civilisation since bird flu. Drugged-up worker's productivity would crash, roads would be chaos, gangs of jobless landlords would maraud through Britain's fine market towns.
Perhaps more importantly, the universal Yin Yang of pleasure pain would be subverted if a night on the tiles wasn't followed by a morning on the toilet.®
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