Would You Take a Stay Sober Pill?

I don't know about you, but I was pretty amazed to read today that:

"Australian scientists found that a type of immune response in the brain is linked to how we respond to alcohol, and it's this response that's behind the 'behavioural changes' associated with drinking too much, such as stumbling and slurred speech".

Apparently this is likely to lead to a pill which will allow the person consuming the alcohol to 'stay sober', essentially 'getting drunk' could quickly become easily avoidable.

This is made from a version of the drug naloxone which blocks the actions of toll-like receptors on glial cells, a cell type involved in the brain's immune response. Experiments conducted on mice apparently showed impressive results as Dr Mark Hutchinson explains below:

"The results showed that blocking this part of the immune system, either with the drug or genetically, reduced the effects of alcohol," said Dr Mark Hutchinson, one of the study authors.

He said he believed a similar treatment could work in humans.

"Medications targeting this specific receptor - toll-like receptor 4 - may prove beneficial in treating alcohol dependence and acute overdoses," he said.

Now I love the idea this could be used to help people with problems such as 'alcohol dependence' or 'acute overdoses', but can't help wondering where this would stop. Will people feel pressured socially into taking one of these 'stay sober' pills before they go out for the evening? If so wouldn't that be a pretty boring night out as everyone would be completely serious with no loss of inhibitions that allowed them to let their hair down and have a fun time? Isn't part of the fun of a night out the part where you not only get inebriated yourself, but get to watch your friends doing the same. The laughter flows and often result in some of the best nights out ever.

I don't know about you, but personally I find most alcoholic drinks don't actually taste all that great anyway, and I like a lot of people (if not most people), drink them more because of the effect they have, not in spite of. If I knew that by drinking a glass of wine or a pint of cider I was going to experience no sensation of relaxation or being mildly tipsy, I would probably choose a pint of lemonade and lime or a glass of orange juice instead, after all, they taste much nicer.

I could almost see a benefit to those people who had to drive on their nights out, but then I reminded myself that this does not change the fact most beer, lager, ales and spirits taste pretty rank if you disregard the actual pleasantly woozy feeling you are left with after drinking them. This means that most drivers would probably still opt to have a soft drink on the nights where they were the designated driver, as opposed to drinking something that doesn't taste as nice as a soft drink, and any positives about it have been chemically 'neutered' by a 'stay sober' pill.

I am curious to know out of those people reading this article, how many would take a 'stay sober' pill if they were going on a night out. Would they take it to avoid making a fool of themselves, or would they prefer to just not drink alcohol? Would they rather enjoy the effects of the alcohol without any pill that took those effects away? If they were driving that night would they rather restrict the alcohol they consume to within legal limits and not take the 'stay sober' pill, or would they prefer to drink plenty of alcohol having taken the 'stay sober' pill, knowing that it would have no effect on them at all? I have posted a poll at the end of this article in order to gauge the popular answers to these questions.

Of course the most amazing thing of all is that this discovery has been made by 'Australian Scientists', who I would have thought were very fond of their beers and would hate a 'stay sober' pill LOL.

Would you take a 'Stay Sober' pill if you were going on a night out?

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If you were worried about making a 'fool of yourself' due to alcohol would you rather

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Would you take a 'stay sober' pill if you were planning to drive on a night out?

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Comments 30 comments

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yeah I can think of reasons where a stay sober pill could be good but the alcoholics who need them probably wouldn't take them. I also only drink on occasions and I do so to get drunk! Lol. I like beer but that's about it other than a rare mimosa.

I worked on some research studies for the purpose of approving drugs for the FDA - uh uh uh. I wouldn't take a pill unless I had to!

I think this is just another good example of the pharmaceutical companies coming up with a money maker.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I wonder if it will be much of a money maker though RealHousewife, as like you say, most people have a drink to 'get drunk', and an alcoholic would probably not want to take them, any more than someone who enjoys Cannabis (like I used to) would want to smoke a Cannabis substitute that tasted the same but had no noticeable effect on their sense of relaxation. I personally would rather not take that 'stay sober' pill and drink soft drinks if I needed to stay sober. On a normal night out I would rather enjoy the getting tipsy, slightly inebriated, woozy etc feelings I associate with a few alcoholic beverages.

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom


Funnily enough, although I enjoy my beer and whisky, the first point which springs to mind is a medical one...

Alcohol is a poison and drunkenness is essentially a form of poisoning. If this substance counteracts drunkenness, does it mean that people would be capable of drinking enough alcohol to kill themselves before they fall down drunk...???

Sorry, Misty, I'm an old fashioned guy, who (sometimes!) knows his limits and wants nature to remind him of them in the long established fashion...! ;)

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Gordon, a very good point, I assume that the alcohol will still do the liver damage etc. Having said that it did state that it could potentially be used to treat 'acute overdoses', inferring it might cancel out some of the effects. Actually I am in the same camp as you, and in general I would prefer to let 'nature remind me of my limits in the long established fashion'.

diogenes 5 years ago

Interesting Missy - you can write it! Useless product as people like the effects, not the actual drinking. The best thing that happened to me was when i realized booze was the enemy and I no longer needed to get half poisoned and stupid to have a good time. (After 30 years as an annoying drunk) Voted up for interest Bob

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I am a tea-tottler. I have no desire for alcohol or drugs, therefore I would have no need for such a pill, but I understand where you're coming from though and if there were such a pill I would definitely recommend it to my friends that drink.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Bob, I hope one day I get to the stage where I too can ditch the booze altogether.

Hi Dave, problem would be that your drinking friends may feel it rather made 'having a drink' a pointless exercise if it wasn't going to have any effect on them anyway. Drinking socially is not cheap, so the perceived 'value for money' would be gone.

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I'm with Gordon. I suspect many drunks *would* take the stay sober pill and end up in the morgue after a night out.

And yes, I'm guessing this drug, which of curse it IS, is just another gimmick to fill the coffers of BigPharma with NO thought to how many COFFINS it might fill as a result.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Ahhh, but would they JamaGenee, as the whole pleasure of enjoying the sensation of getting drunk would be removed, making it no different to drinking a soft drink. I reckon they would just carry on drinking the alcohol, but not take the pill at all.

Thanks for commenting :)

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Naloxone sounds scarier than alcohol. I can't see the value myself even for alcohol abusers as too much drinking will still rot your liver.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia

I certainly would not take the stay sober pill. I drink to become happier, lower my inhibitions, decrease shyness, become more accepting, increase my confidence and feel all round a whole lot better about life and the stay sober pill would stop that. I know my limitations, when to slow down and when to stop. I don't drink every day. Nah....no pills for me. I mean I may get addicted.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I totally agree Green lotus. Better to just drink less.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I feel much the same way Peter, there are some positive effects caused by alcohol, increased confidence, decreased shyness etc. All these pluses are lost if we take a 'stay sober' pill. Better to enjoy alcohol at sensible levels.

profile image

Husky1970 5 years ago

I completely agree with JamaGenee. There are already too many pills for too many things. I would never take this pill under any circumstances. There are too many sensible alternatives. It is time we resorted to strong will power. and sound decision making. This is an interesting hub and I will follow to see the continued results of your poll. Thanks mistyhorizon2003.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Husky1970. I am interested to see the long term results of the poll too. I suspect most will indicate that they will not use the 'stay sober' pill at all, but only time will tell. I do agree we need to learn to use our will power and not rely on any outside influences to get us out of being 'strong' when we need to be.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 5 years ago from South Africa

From a purely business persprective I can see the value of a sober pill, where you, of neccessity, attend many functions and drinking with dinner, or a drink or two to netwiork are almost obligatory. However you do need to retain your perspective and you still have to get home. Drink and drive is not a safe option, especially where long distances and no public transport are an issue.

This idea certainly has merit.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi sixtyorso, I agree this could be a good time to utilise it, especially at business type functions where, like you said, it is important to keep your wits about you.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

sixty - The business use is clever. It would alos be clever to use it during poker games where others drink and lose concentration. It would be great if youth could carry one of the pills with them and take it if they felt they were to be in a situation where friends or older kids demand that they drink. Some abusive spouses insist their mate drink with them, so the pill would be handy for the second person as well - to use to escape.

I don't drink because of bad experiences with people that abuse drugs and alcohol, so I'd not have use for the pill. One of my bosses used to disguise ginger ale as a drink with a Marischino cherry and a paper umbrella.

Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

No, I wouldn't take this. I don't want to take unnecessary drugs, which no doubt have their own side effects. And on the rare occasion where I get to go out, I want to feel the effects of my drinks, and get merry!

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Exactly. There are too many ways to get around being forced to drink alcohol. Plain orange juice looks the same as a Screwdriver, water and an olive looks the same as a martini. The trick is to remember to look and act a bit "happier" as the evening progresses. ;D

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Ditto your thoughts Moon Daisy, I want to feel 'merry' too :)

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good tips JamaGenee, thanks for suggesting them here :)

rc 5 years ago

It won't happen any time soon! this class of drug was developed in the 60's, is strictly prescription only and has enough side effects so that it just won't be an attractive option. headaches, nausea, depression, constipation...quite a long list of stuff that will turn off most people who don't have a problem with alcohol addiction. also, it greatly reduces the craving for drugs and alcohol.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for that added info rc :)

Nicole Winter profile image

Nicole Winter 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

mistyhorizon2003: Fascinating! I have to wonder, though, while the effects of alcohol would be negated it would seem that the alcohol would still have to be processed through your body, wouldn't it still do damage to your liver? Also, wouldn't it still be possible to drink enough to do permanent damage to yourself? I can imagine that there would be uses for a drug like this, but I can't see myself taking it. I enjoy going out and having a few beers and I like the taste of a well-crafted brew.

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Nicole, I am thinking it would still have to be processed therefore the damage would be just as bad, only difference being you wouldn't get drunk. There probably will be a few good uses for the stay sober pill (some have already been suggested in the comments section), but in general it seems few are keen on the idea of taking it themselves.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Well I know I would definitely just say no to this!

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Steve, thanks for commenting. I would say no too :)

Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 5 years ago from Essex, UK

I'm sure such a pill would be welcomed by many, but whether it would be a good idea is another matter - getting drunk I guess is a good warning that you've had too much alcohol to drink. Staying sober might encourage people to drink far more than is good for their livers. too much alcohol also dehydrates the body.

Anyway, for me a 'stay sober' pill would be the complete opposite of what I would want. Being rather introverted socially, I feel awkward and out of place when in a crowd in a bar or club. I actually feel the need to lose a few inhibitions to relax and enjoy life and say and do the sort of things I want to, without feeling too embarressed.

Unfortunately, I don't much like the taste of alcohol, so I rarely get to that state. Now if someone can give me a pill that makes me, not drunk, but just a little 'light-headed', then yes please!

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I like your way of thinking on so many levels Greensleeves Hubs, especially your last paragraph :)

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