That’s my bottom-line takeaway from this new story in Britain’s The Independent newspaper.
Let’s start here:
Scientists are developing a drug which mimics all the positive effects of being drunk without any of the health risks, addiction – or hangovers.
And then ask how realistic that is. In my opinion, as the rest of the story demonstrates, not a lot. And, it leads to the rhetorical question of my headline.
We go next to this:
The “serious revolution in health” is being pioneered by the former Government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt, and has been described as doing for alcohol what the e-cigarette has done for tobacco use.
Uhh, wrong right there! As far as his claims about this new drug, the analogy is wrong, because the verdict is still out, to a fair extent, on the e-cig. (Apologies to any e-cig users reading this.) A Google search of “e-cigarette” + “dangers” gets more than 7 million hits. Those include the fact that e-cigs have their own toxic vapors and have not been proven to help people quit cigarettes, as noted in this story.
Meanwhile, back to our story at hand, now that we know our good professor is wrong about e-cigs and we know to be skeptical.
Here’s where my “bulimic alcoholics” angle comes in:
It targets neurotransmitters in the brain directly, giving the taker feelings of pleasure and disinhibition that are in some cases “indistinguishable” from the effects of drinking. Yet because it acts directly, it can also be immediately blocked by taking an antidote – with “drinkers” potentially able to then drive or return to work straight away.
So, get “drunk” for an hour, take the “antidote” (interesting that its called that), then get “drunk” again. Lather, rinse, repeat!
Finally, the good ex-drugs advisor has not a clue, it seems, about the mental and psychological components of addiction.