Thursday 7 January 2010

Pretend Booze: Let The Big Pharma v Drinks Industry War Begin

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.


Pogo said...

You're probably right... But, to be honest, I don't really care any more. If I were younger and in somewhat better health I'd be inclined to get into some form of political activity aimed at "nanny", but I'm not, so I can't...

Instead, if any of this nonsense comes to pass I will simply remove myself and my household to some other country - one that has remained civilised.

Leg-iron said...

I'll brew my own. Should soon become a lucrative little sideline.

My historical knowledge on this is sketchy, but if I remember correctly, didn't people once drink ether in pubs?

You had to cool your mouth with ice water first or it would all evaporate before you managed to get any down.

Not sure whether they smoked at that time, but if they did, I bet there were a few interesting sights to see.

Mrs Rigby said...

It would be interesting to work out what they could slip into these 'drinks' to enhance them, so there's no longer a need for, say medication to quell adhd, as well as stuff like fluoride, vitamins and all the other things we're told we should take regularly so we can be 'healthy' and for ever.

w/v voodho

Unknown said...

I haven't checked your links yet DP but it didn't take a great leap from my rapidly diminishing gray cells to the mind numbing conclusion that synthesised alcohol production was the "next step" on big pharma's roadmap to world domination of the lower classes, the prols.

We are just a global fucking experiment to them, the cunts!

Anonymous said...

If this were to come to pass, there really would be nothing worth living for.

That would be the point at which suicide bombing becomes a valid career path.


Anonymous said...

"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."

Of course, no-one ever got addicted to vallium, did they?

Where do these fucknuts come from? Is there a special place they all go to, to have there brains removed?


Frank Davis said...

Orwellian. But what's the point of drinking the stuff if you don't get drunk? People will start brewing and distilling their own, like Leg-iron.

I can't help but think that Big Pharma will be pushing to have potatoes made illegal next, for being full up with 'thousands' of unregulated substances, many of them carcinogenic or otherwise toxic, and people will have to buy their potato substitute. Cooking will be made illegal, because cookers are death traps. Knives and forks too.

marley said...

Star Trek have been making synthahol for donkeys years. They talk to the wall and it produces a drink which tastes like booze but is'nt. Pass me a phaser on it's highest level, I need to shoot me some cling ons.

Anonymous said...

Any second now will come the first demands for an 'alcohol-free' room in pubs.

At first it'll be voluntary and then, because the landlords will almost certainly continue to ignore the wishes of 'the majority', there'll be laws.

The denormalisation process may take a little longer, though. Most people regard themselves as respectable, moderate drinkers. Advert bans are clearly the first step in divorcing it from mainstream society but there's bound to be loads of epidemiology and no doubt they'll enlist the help of the children.

No crystal ball necessary.
wv: coants


Dick Puddlecote said...

Leg Iron & Frank Davis: Home brew will be easily clamped down upon. By the time synth-alcohol has been finalised and hammered into the public consciousness, there will already be powers to enter homes of smokers 'for the chiiildren'. Those stills and firkins will be deemed anti-social. Choice is not permissible under any circumstance.

Anon @ 21:37: Well pointed out. Voluntary is only a temporary measure until compulsory can be introduced.

Rob F said...

Benzos are (reportedly) more difficult to quit than heroin.

So it won't be a benzo EXACTLY then, but something else that affects the GABA system, like erm...GBL, for instance? That they've just banned?

I need a drink!

Frank Davis said...

They wouldn't be brewing it at home, Dick. They'd be brewing and distilling in sheds in the woods or underground in cellars or caves.

At the moment marijuana is illegal, but it still gets grown under UV lights all over Britain. Every so often the police discover a little marijuana 'factory' full of tons of the stuff.

Neal Asher said...

Aldous Huxley's soma:

Furor Teutonicus said...

They already have an alcoholich drink that is TOTALY synthetic.

It is called Stroh "rum".

Tastes like bloody boat varnish, and it goes down like drinking syrup from the tin. Bloody AWFUL stuff, so it is.

BUT it IS alcohol, and it IS synthetic.

Mr A said...

Anon @21:37

Sadly, denormalisation is very easy for them to do, especially now people have been conditioned into accepting it and (as Neal points out by referring to Huxley) the Huxleyian concept of the 2 minute hate has now been made acceptable. Once drinkers have been made "unacceptable" it won't take long - it only took two or three decades (a generation or so?) to turn smoking from being ubiquitous and cool to being the subject of hate and bile (look at the comments HairyChestnuts gets on his YouTube Channel - "I look forward to the day you get lung cancer, coughing sputum against the wall, while I laugh at you, you dirty, filthy smoker" was a recent gem - the Righteous encourage this.

And it'll take a fraction of the time. People are now used to hating and fearing others in society. In addition, the anti-smoking lobby had to invent all the junk-science because smoking is
essentially cool. With drinking, sadly they only need a bit of junk science because a few years of inundating our media with images of geordie lasses cackling in the street with piss running down their legs or pissed-up Cockneys swearing and scuffling in the streets will quickly do their job for them. If they can make an urbane chap in a bar exhaling smoke as he tells a witty story a potential mass-murderer with his "toxic cocktail of smoke-death" then they can do the same with booze in a fraction of the time with canny use of images like the above.

And never forget they have the money (our money!) and the resources (Councils, NHS, schools, literally millions of jobsworths all working overtime on their brainwashing) to make it happen.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Comment of the month already, Mr A. A real head-nodder. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's too easy to brew your own; but not easy to either control or measure the alcohol content. A minimum price of 50p per unit would cause chaos: illicit brewing would start on a grand scale, perhaps by those who now sell counterfeit cigarettes to children.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Illicit brewing??????

WTF is "Illicit" about it?

Brewing your own is as legal as taking a bath FFS!

I make 80 Liters per month. Mix of beer and mead.

Now making a STILL is different.

And as to;

not easy to either control or measure the alcohol content


Manu said...

Broadly agree with this post and everyone's comments, but I have to say that this option - were it to be become available as trailed in the linked article - would be quite nice to have in certain circumstances!

Something you could drink which replicates at least some of the positive physiological effects of alcohol, but which (means you can drive home? A substance you can drink all night and not get completely drunk on and/or experience 'gastric disturbance'? A drink with an antidote for when you've gone too far?? Sounds fantastic to me!

That said, this should only ever be an *option* - unfortunately, I agree that the future of alcohol in the UK is starting to look a bit bleak (swigs another mouthful of fantastic Austrian Reisling in defiance)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Thanks for the considered comment, Manu. IMO you're very correct that such a thing would be useful if it was optional, but experience tells us that won't be the case if it does anything remotely as the article describes.

Good luck with the blog. :-)

Manu said...

Thanks DP - perhaps Big Pharma should concentrate on developing a simple antidote pill for ethanol. Not only would they stand to make substantial profit but they would do so with the best wishes of the vast majority of those on the planet... ;-)

Going back now to stock-piling my wine cellar...