An idea that gives me a headache


“Alcohol without the hangover? It’s closer than you think” is the headline that’s now whooshing its way around the Web. Trouble is: It’s a tad misleading.

First off, according to David Nutt in the Guardian’s ShortCuts blog, scientists would have to invent a new kind of “alcohol” that mimics the feel-good wallop of booze without the bad side-effects: anger, aggression and addiction.

“We know that the main target for alcohol in the brain is the neurotransmitter system gamma aminobutyric acid (Gaba) (and) there are a range of Gaba subsystems that can be targeted by selective drugs,” Nutt says.

In other words, this is no magic pill for drinking too many brewskis or whiskies.

“The challenge is to prepare the new drink in a fashion that makes it as tasty and appealing,” Nutt says. “This is likely to be in the form of a cocktail, so I foresee plenty of different flavors.”

Sounds like we are years if not decades away from scientists making a class of drugs that would be sold (by a nanny state?) beside (instead of?) Bud and Jim Beam. Would this be the alcoholic version of e-cigarettes?

No thanks. That’s Nutt’s!