Researchers developing new adult beverages with Valium-like drugs instead of alcohol
The feel-good drinks would not only improve an individual's well-being, but could have an enormous impact on the public cost of alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that alcoholism cost the U.S. approximately $220 billion in 2005, or around $733 apiece for all Americans.
According to the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper, the synthetic alcohol being tested is derived from chemicals similar to Valium. Valium is a sedative used to treat anxiety and, ironically, alcohol withdrawal. The team is led by Professor David Nutt, who was recently fired from his position as the government's drug advisor when he had the temerity to suggest that LSD and Ecstasy are less dangerous than alcohol.
I imagine replacing one drug (alcohol) with another (a benzodiazepine like Valium) can create a new set of problems that the researchers will need to overcome to bring this product to market. Valium, for example, has side effects such as dizziness and blurred vision, and in some people, especially seniors, can trigger hallucinations. It is also available by prescription only.
Nonetheless, I like the way these researchers are thinking; search for better alternatives to allow us to catch our buzz, rather than forbid us the chance to enjoy that state of mind that is such a welcome contrast to our workday world.