The Sober Pill Conundrum

on May 24 in Editorial by dan

Reading through the United Academics Magazine (FYI, its a good read ) I came across thier article: Sober Up Pill Developed. Naturally I was interested, and thought you would be too. It raises some interesting topics and questions.

Sober Up Pill Developed

We already have o2 linn, the beer that doesn’t give you a hangover. Now scientists claim to have developed a pill that can make you sober again. A cure for drunkenness so to say. You take the pill with a glass of water and after a few minutes you can walk in a straight line, talk back normal and perhaps even drive a car.

To scientists it is still unclear what exactly happens to someone who is drunk. Alcohol acts on a part the brain that regulated the immune system. The system gets confused and separates a substance called cytokine. The cykotine in turn disrupts other parts of the brain.

Scientists at the University of Illinois (USA) have invented a substance which will make the immune system ‘reset’, so that no more cytokine is produced. It ‘melts’ all the symptoms of drunkenness like snow does in the Sun. That is, in mice. The scientists will still have to test the drug on humans, however they are reasonably sure that they have achieved a breakthrough (pdf).

Maybe a couple more years and who knows, you might take one of these pill when leaving the pub, wait for a couple a minutes and then get in your car and drive home.

A Little Analysis and Thought

While it will remove your symptoms of drunkness (and sorry to be the bringer of bad news) it won’t protect your liver at all, so you still cant drink vast amounts of whisky consequence free, which is a shame.

This topic set a converstion on fire with a few guys I know, stories of things like, having a sober pill next to a profilatic in your wallet and how that might help you make wiser decisions on a night out. Or being able to sober up for an exam the morning after the night before etc… all these things are interesting but there are some more serious questions to consider too.

Could it cause bad drinking habits?

Would you drink more if you knew you knew the main reason for not being able to was removed… Would poeple get drunk in the morning knowing they can Sober up before they get in to work? Would you get Drunk much more often, putting extra pressure on your liver?

Will these pills have to be licensed?

As with most drugs licenecing will be an issue. Can the population be trsuted to buy these over the counter? or will it too dangerous and only be used by government bodies and the like. Doctors, AA meetings, police, hospitals.

Could it be used to enforce public order?

Why should the police have to deal with drunk louts in city centre night spots? Could they not throw a pill down these peoples throats to sober them up? The same goes for hospitals on a friday/saturday night.

… Are there human rights issues if these pills are forced on people?

So many questions

This sober pill idea rasises so many questions when you start to think about it… I’d love to hear your opinions on the idea and what it might mean to you.

One Comment

  • dan says:

    The faint buzz and slight softening of the senses, along with the lowing of inhibitions add’s to the whisky experience. For me and many others this is integral. However I can imagine spending a few hours with friends drinking some good whisky, have a good dram and a chat… then pop a sober pill and sober up ready to use the rest of the day. Imagine a lunch time whisky tasting, on your lunch hour… Mental!

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