A new type of synthetic alcohol has been discovered which could allow people to enjoy the sociable effects of a few pints, but skip the hangover that usually follows.
The new drink, known as 'alcosynth', is designed to mimic the positive effects of alcohol but doesn’t cause a dry mouth, nausea and a throbbing head, according to its creator Professor David Nutt.
The Imperial College Professor and former government drugs advisor told The Independent he has patented around 90 different alcosynth compounds.
Two of them are now being rigorously tested for widespread use, he said – and by 2050, he hopes alcosynth could completely replace normal alcohol.
“It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they'll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you'll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” he said.
“They go very nicely into mojitos. They even go into something as clear as a Tom Collins. One is pretty tasteless, the other has a bitter taste."
By researching substances that work on the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Professor Nutt and his team have been able to design a drug which they say is non-toxic and replicates the positive effects of alcohol.
“We know a lot about the brain science of alcohol; it's become very well understood in the last 30 years,” said Professor Nutt.
“So we know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them. And by not touching the bad areas, we don't have the bad effects.”
Advocates of alcosynth believe it could revolutionise public health by relieving the burden of alcohol on the health service.
According to Alcohol Concern, drinking is the third biggest risk factor for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity.
"People want healthier drinks," said Professor Nutt. “The drinks industry knows that by 2050 alcohol will be gone."
Read more at The Independent.