Ask 10 people what they believe the best hangover cure is, and you’re likely to get 10 answers. Scarfing down some greasy fast food is a popular choice. Chugging a large Gatorade is another. Some might even tell you to simply pop open another beer.
Many hangover "cures" are most likely just snake oils, but one British neuropsychopharmacologist (try saying that without slurring) believes he’s found the ultimate way to avoid the malevolent hangover. According to the Mirror, Professor David Nutt, a leading neuroscientist who worked as an adviser to the National Health Service, has developed a pill that allows you to feel drunk without getting hungover. The hangover drug is actually meant to replace alcohol and mimics the feeling of having a few brewskis, including the euphoria people often describe. And when you’re ready to sober up, you simply pop an “antidote” that will set you straight in minutes.
“I think this would be a serious revolution in health ... just like the e-cigarette is going to revolutionize the smoking of tobacco,” Nutt told the BBC in an interview Monday, according to The Independent. “I find it weird that we haven't been speaking about this before, as it's such a target for health improvement.”
Nutt says he has identified five compounds that affect the same neurotransmitter system in the brain targeted by booze. Nutt said he’s taken the hangover drug himself, and was back on his feet just 10 minutes after popping the antidote. The British neuroscientist wants the government – and investors – to support his new hangover drug, saying that it will save the NHS millions every year.
ABC News noted that Nutt has already spoken with alcohol manufacturers about making the drug appealing by flavoring it. Distillers apparently are, unsurprisingly, not interested in production.
“In theory we can make an alcohol surrogate that makes people feel relaxed and sociable and remove the unwanted effects, such as aggression and addictiveness,” Nutt told The Telegraph.
But not everyone thinks Nutt’s hangover drug is such a good idea. Emily Robinson, deputy chief executive of Alcohol Concern, a national charity that works on alcohol issues, questioned whether Nutt’s research should be supported.
“We would urge caution on this,” Robinson told The Telegraph. “We agree that alcohol is a serious burden to the country. But we would urge the government to invest in policies that we know work, such as minimum unit pricing and advertising restrictions.”