Australian scientists developing “stay sober” pill to combat excessive drunkenness
The Adelaide Herald is reporting that Australian scientists are developing a pill that helps over-indulgers in alcoholic bevvies stay sober. According to scientists at the University of Adelaide, the pill aims to limit the effects of alcohol on a drinker’s brain as well as stop cravings for alcohol in general. The pill has been extremely successful thus far on murine drinkers.
“The pill changes the focus of the wiring of the brain,” Dr. Mark Hutchinson of the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences is quoted as saying. Reseachers investigated the way alcohol affects the glial cells that make up 90 per cent of the brain. These cells act as a key part of the immune system, which plays a role in the brain’s behavioral response to alcohol. Apparently, when the brain’s immune response was shut off by the drug, the mice were able to act normally (or appeared sober) and no longer preferred alcohol to water after taking the tablet. While the Herald reports that the drug could help in the treatment of alcoholics and prevent drunk driving accidents, the Globe and Mail wonders if this new pill would give many more drinkers a license to over-indulge. For our part, we can think of a more cost-effective way to stay sober: don’t buy a beer in the first place.
• An anti-booze pill is being developed to revolutionize treatment of problem drinkers [Adelaide Herald]
• Want to drink without getting drunk? There’s a (possibly dangerous) pill for that [Globe and Mail]