Boy! If Prof Nutt (remember him?) manages to pull this off, drinkers are well and truly shafted.
Synthetic Alcohol Gives Drinkers a Buzz Minus the Hangover, Addiction
Unlike all those bunk point-of-sale hangover remedies, this headache-eluding synthetic is being developed by some serious brainpower at Imperial College London. Professor David Nutt, one of Britain's top drug experts, was recently relieved of his position as a government advisor for comments about cannabis and MDMA. Now, he's trying to change the way Britons think, and feel, about getting drunk.
By harnessing benzodiazepines like diazepam, the chief ingredient in anti-anxiety med Valium, Nutt sees a future of drinking without becoming addicted, belligerent or -- and here's the kicker -- intoxicated.
It's a righteous wet dream, sure enough. In fact, it's more than that, it will also signal big pharma's entry into the alcohol market.
Regular readers will remember mentions here of the embryonic tobacco control years. It's not so long ago that the health community used to sit around a table with tobacco companies to formulate a strategy for lessening harm from cigarette use. That ceased abruptly once pharma invented the nicotine patch. The nicotine supply war had begun and the passive smoking fraud was inevitably only a matter of time in the making.
Quite startlingly lucrative as that market is, especially with governmental backing via NHS quit schemes, unnecessarily totalitarian smoking bans, and the like, it is paltry compared to the potential profit should a synthetic alternative to alcohol be developed.
Because big pharma will be the ones to develop and manufacture it, and it will leave them sitting on a global goldmine.
Of course, it's almost certain that brews and distillations crafted over centuries of knowledgeable tradition - fine wines, cognacs, malts, even lovingly brewed beers - won't carry the same panache or appeal. Objections from purists won't be heeded by the righteous, though, especially with the steamroller of big bucks pharma backing behind them.
We've seen choice entirely eradicated in the tobacco market. The only option is to be battered and denormalised by tobacco control, or to quit, and even then you must quit the way you are told to quit - the pharma way. Cuban cigars aren't exempt, nor is social tobacco use via pipes or hookahs, even e-cigs are frowned upon and demonised. The only acceptable way of ingesting nicotine is via the prescribed and approved method.
Alcohol will be afforded similar short shrift.
Drinkers could toss back as many glasses of the swill as they want but would remain only mildly drunk from first drink to last, keeping good-timers within legal limits whether they like it or not.
Aye, there's the crux of the matter. Once pharma have a slice in the alcohol delivery pie, they will push hard for the whole bloody lot.
The template is there to be followed, the righteous have more than one foot under the civil service table, and they will whine, hector, shriek and hyperbolise until every step is adhered to. Diageo and Heineken will be deemed as evil as BAT and Philip Morris. And pharma will be there to finance the process and rake in the dosh. Your preferences will be irrelevant.
Just imagine the fun to which we will be subjected if Nutt and his pals get this funded (and they will). If you raise objections, you will be dubbed an alcoholic; if you deny the effects of passive drinking, you will be classed as a selfish child-killer; if you argue for choice, you will be termed a 'crazy' or a flat-earther.
Alcohol advertising bans are already on their way, the myths surrounding alcohol have been deeply embedded. A 'safe' alternative to alcohol is merely the final jigsaw piece that the temperance movement was searching for. Soon, the evidence will be overwhelming, the debate will be over, and bansturbators like Gilmore and Shenker will be pushing for bans on drinking in films, and at the theatre, prior to going all out for a ban on alcohol entirely.
It's the beginning of the alcohol end game.