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Alcohol That Won't Make You Drunk?

As reported by the UK Telegraph over the weekend, a team at the Imperial College of London is in development of a substance that provides the pleasant and relaxing buzz of alcohol without the drunkenness and loss of inhibitions.  Bonus:  the 'buzz' effects can be shut off at the end of the night by simply taking a pill.

The project, lead by Professor David Nutt who is a leading drug expert is England, focuses on a chemical that is closely related to Valium providing a sense of relaxation and ease without the effects of addiction found in alcohol.  The chemical also lends itself to being 'shut off' immediately as soon as the recipient takes the antidote (in the form of a pill).

The plan is to eventually replace all alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits with this substance.  It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; taking on the taste and color of whatever it is mixed with. 

To me this sounds not like a perfect world but a step backwards (for the United States at least) towards prohibition.  Isn't the point of having alcohol in beer, wine, and mixed drinks to add complexity, flavor, and aromas?  I understand the risk and concern for alarm with the recent rise in underage drinking and driving under the influence, but why is the answer to switch our addictive habits towards another drug?

To read the full article published in the Telegraph, click here.  I'm interested in others' thoughts and opinions and would appreciate any comments on the topic.

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