Leading this project is Professor David Nutt, former Government drugs advisor, who believes this drug could do for alcohol what e-cigarettes have done for smoking.
The drug in question targets neurotransmitters within the brain, making the taker of the drug feel pleasure and disinhibition. Because this drug acts directly, the effect can be immediately blocked by taking an antidote, allowing ‘drinkers’ to potentially return to work or drive straight away.
Prof Nutt in one of the UK’s leading neuropsychopharmacologists, however he and his team have faced an inevitable stumbling block – no one in the drinks industry wants to fund the drug’s development.
Appealing for investors to support his research, Prof Nutt believes this could be a serious revolution in health. One of the main benefits he claims is that alcohol addiction would no longer be a problem. According to the scientists, 10% of drinkers become addicted and these addicts account for almost all of the 1.5 million alcohol-related deaths every year.
The drug would be taken in the form of a range of cocktails and according to Prof Nutt – the prototypes have worked well,
“I’ve done the prototype experiments myself many years ago, where I’ve been inebriated and then it’s been reversed by the antagonist. That’s what really gave us the idea. There’s no question that you can produce a whole range of effects like alcohol by manipulating the brain.”
What do you think? Would you be happy taking a drug that replicated the effects of drinking or do you think this is a step too far in drug development? Let us know in the comments below.