Synthetic alcohol

An alcohol substitute developed from chemicals similar to those found in Valium, specifically benzodiazepines like diazepam, can give a buzz without any of the negative effects, such as hangovers and addiction. Professor David Nutt from the Imperial College in London has expressed his hopes of finding a way for people to drink without risk of addiction, intoxication or increased aggression. He believes that it would improve public health because a person would only be mildly drunk no matter how much "alcohol" he had consumed. Unlike actual alcohol, the drug derivative does not affect other parts of the brain related to addiction and mood swings. Researchers also have developed a sobering antidote pill that turns off the effect of this pseudo-alcohol, an effect that could decrease drunk driving. Nutt hopes the alcohol substitute will undergo clinical trials and licensing soon.

-compiled by Surabhi Bhatt

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