What would it be like to drink without ever getting drunk? What’s the point, you might ask. Isn’t a pleasant buzz (and sometimes, occasionally, an uproarious night out) part of the fun of drinking? Some scientists apparently disagree and are developing a pill to counteract the “negative” effects of alcohol.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that “researchers from Yale University hope iomazenil could help in developing a stay-sober pill to wean heavy drinkers off alcohol.”
Dr. Deepak D’Souza, a psychiatrist involved in the drug’s development, explains iomazenil’s purpose: “A medication that has the potential to block alcohol actions in the central nervous system could act as a unique medication in the treatment of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism. Alcohol is abused commonly but there is no remedy for alcohol intoxication.”
I’m all for medical advancement and treating the sick – whether genetically predisposed or not – so let’s assume those points away. No one should wish ill will on the infirm. And it’s certainly not enjoyable dwelling on the irresponsible or unwell amongst us.
So let’s instead focus on the fun side of this medical research, which is explained near the end of the Daily Telegraph article: “British researchers are trying to develop liquid drugs that give all the pleasure of alcohol but without any of the harm. The Valium-like pharmaceutical shots would mimic the pleasant buzz of alcohol without leading to drunkenness.”
While the idea seems fun – a buzz without getting drunk – there are clearly a few notable drawbacks to this idea. First, anything involving shots (needles, not shooters) is not my idea of fun. Second, when enjoying your beverage of choice, it is the preparation, the process, the taste, and the finish that are the best parts of drinking.
For me, the buzz is just a pleasant side effect, certainly nothing to replace the feeling of that first sip: putting your feet up after a hard day’s work. Or on weekends, when you can abandon your work altogether.