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.