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Star Trek's Synthehol Now Possible?

CowboyNeal posted about 8 years ago | from the life-imitating-art dept.

509

[TheBORG] writes "Professor David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, believes that there is no scientific reason why 'synthehol' (a science-fictional substitute for alcohol that appears in Star Trek:The Next Generation television series) cannot be created now. It will allow drinkers to experience all of the enjoyable, intoxicating effects of alcohol without unpleasant side-effects like hangovers." Of course, there's still the real deal, Romulan Ale, for when you want a splitting headache in the morning.

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509 comments

Drugs. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127797)

Synthehol is my anti-drug.

Actually (3, Informative)

aussie_a (778472) | about 8 years ago | (#15127800)

Actually Sinthehole just had the taste and none of the side-effects (like feeling happy, having impaired judgement, etc).

Re:Actually (5, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | about 8 years ago | (#15127805)

Some nerds know about biochemistry and how to make alcohol have a lower toxicity... and some nerds know about star trek.

And you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127816)

That slashdot post could very well be your life's ultimate achievement. Savor it.

Re:Actually (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 8 years ago | (#15127828)

Well there was that TNG episode where they had super-alcohol and Tasha Yar boned Data...

Re:Actually (0)

cp.tar (871488) | about 8 years ago | (#15128012)

Wasn't Tasha Yar killed (i.e. kicked from the series) because of her alcohol problem?

And did it all start with that episode?

Re:Actually (1)

Alarash (746254) | about 8 years ago | (#15127877)

Some nerds know about biochemistry and how to make alcohol have a lower toxicity... and some nerds know about star trek. And some know both.

Re:Actually (5, Informative)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15127841)

Synthahol got you drunk in Star Trek, but it was described as something that could be shaken off more easily than true alchohol (ie you can actually get sober quickly, as opposed to just thinking you're sober) and having "less" hangover afterwards. It was also suggested multiple times that it was primarily a shipboard/on-base beverage meant for off-duty Starfleet and other personell... with the real thing being in common consumption for civilians.

As for taste, I get the feeling it didn't simulate it all that well (considering Scotty's reaction to it on that TNG episode. I'm a geek, but not geek enough to know the episode number).

Re:Actually (4, Informative)

Burning Plastic (153446) | about 8 years ago | (#15128015)

I've been drinking Scotch since before your great-grandfather was in diapers... And this is not scotch...

Synthetic scotch... Synthetic Commanders...

Nutt? (4, Insightful)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | about 8 years ago | (#15127807)

I didn't make my career trusting scientists with names like "Professor Nutt." And for the record, the only thing more pointless than reading articles about things that "should" "theoretically" be "possible" is writing them.

Re:Nutt? (1)

temojen (678985) | about 8 years ago | (#15127831)

Professor Nutt the psychopharmacist who writes about alcohol that doesn't get you drunk? Well named!

Re:Nutt? (1)

Subacultcha (921910) | about 8 years ago | (#15127844)

For a guy whose website says "the sublime and the poetic are not merely goals, but foundations", I think you'd feel right at home with Professor Nutt.

Re:Nutt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15128033)

Wow. I thought you were a troll, and then I read it on his site.

It does seem to be a bit... hallucinogenic, doesn't it?

Re:Nutt? (1)

dartarrow (930250) | about 8 years ago | (#15127921)

the only thing more pointless than reading articles about things that "should" "theoretically" be "possible" is writing them.

Hmm... interesting idea. Yes it should technically be possible to avoid reading such articles.

Re:Nutt? (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | about 8 years ago | (#15127926)

He's probably a Ferengi in disguise anyway since they brought Synthehol to the Federation anyway. This one's just travelled back in time before the first ones traded it to Hoomans.

Beg to differ... (5, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | about 8 years ago | (#15128054)

...but I had lectures from him and he's really rather good and certainly knows his stuff. If you want to knock him for his name then fine.

A psychopharmacologist is interested in why and how chemicals interact with the brain and nervous system, so it's quite within his mandate to speculate on how something like 'synthehol' should theoretically be possible. Invariably you tend to find that postgraduates in the UK have to write papers on how something is theoretically possible in order to attract funding for research.

These papers are in the public domain, so if some Sci-Fi fan for LiveScience breaks the news with the sensationalist title "Hangover-free Buzz: Star Trek's Synthehol Now Possible" while at the same time quoting passages from the paper like "Some "partial agonists" of GABA-A receptors already exist; bretazenil and pagoclone were developed as anti-anxiety drugs. These drug molecules are instantly reversible by the flumazenil, used as an antidote to overdoses of tranquillisers.", I'd wager that you should be shooting the messenger here, not the scientist.

Re:Nutt? (5, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 8 years ago | (#15128055)

the only thing more pointless than reading articles about things that "should" "theoretically" be "possible" is writing them.

Not to stomp on a good put down, but the only reason many things are possible today is because someone wrote "pointless" articles about them when they were only theoretically possible.

How About... (5, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 8 years ago | (#15127813)

Romulan Ale is okay, but real life forms prefer the Pan Galactic Gargleblaster, for when you want to feel like you have had your head smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

Re:How About... (5, Funny)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15127858)

The main difference is that while the PGG is legal in most of the more liberal parts of the galaxy, Romulan Ale is illegal, which is part of it's attraction (much like a Cuban cigar - it's the law that makes them taste so damned good).

On the other hand, Romulan Ale doesn't leave you reeling like a man being mugged in a meadow, doesn't eat through the table when spilled, and never ever made anyone yell Pheoww in minor thirds.

Re:How About... (4, Funny)

joe 155 (937621) | about 8 years ago | (#15127940)

another advantage to the romulan ale is that you can drink more than 2 of them even if you are not a 30 ton mega-elephant with bhronchital pneumonia

Who'd use it? (1)

Sonic McTails (700139) | about 8 years ago | (#15127814)

Most people who drink do it to get drunk. For those who want the taste, like those at wine clubs, they can't use the stuff since the alchocol in wine is naturally made, and you couldn't get the same flavor with this stuff.

Re:Who'd use it? (1)

ciroknight (601098) | about 8 years ago | (#15127889)

Luckily in life there's a whole class of people called "Alcoholics", who often would like to quit alcohol due to the cirrosis it's likely causing to their livers. An "Alcohol Substitute" would be like a nicotine patch for a smoker, or methadone to a heroin addict.

(It's likely to be so expensive that otherwise, nobody would consider it anyways, thanks to the delicate balance of drugs required to make this stuff work. Not to mention possible side-effects...)

Re:Who'd use it? (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | about 8 years ago | (#15128026)

Are you 19 years old?

Most people drink to get drunk... wow... maybe in high school or college, but that's a decided minority of the population.

I guess though, it depends on how you define "drunk". A slight buzz isn't bad, but most people I know (who are adults) don't still enjoy the falling-down-drunk that they did when they were younger. They drink for the social aspects, they drink for the taste, they drink to relax after a long day (but not to get "drunk"), and maybe a few drink out of habit.

What's wrong with being drunk, you say? Ask a glass of water. :)

MadCow.

Re:Who'd use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15128052)

How self-deluding... "getting a buzz on" is getting (mildly) drunk.

Now, be honest, do you really drink for the taste? If someone suggested fruit juice instead of wine what would you think?

I hate the hypocricy most people surround alcohol with. It's a drug. There's nothing wrong with that. And there's no reason for us old farts to get snooty at college kids because hangovers are much more painful for us nowadays.

Re:Who'd use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15128082)

You hit the nail on the head. Alcohol is a drug.

I know a lot of people who spend four-hundred dollars regularly on an ounce of great tasting, flourescent green, sparkly weed. If that kind cannot be found, they'll readily shell out sixty dollars for an ounce of Mexican dirt weed.

Most people who drink are no different; if you find yourself "enjoying wine" more than a couple nights a week, chances are if alcohol suddenly vanished and they made a "synthehol" type substitute, these people would continue indulging themselves, even if it tasted like cheap/bad vodka. It's not like you can't chase it or mix it, right?

Re:Who'd use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15128060)

but most people I know (who are adults) don't still enjoy the falling-down-drunk that they did when they were younger.


That's funny... most of the adults I know (my father for instance) pretty much just like getting hammed.

I suppose you'd call these types "alcoholics".

Re:Who'd use it? (1)

fatted (777789) | about 8 years ago | (#15128097)

Most people who drink do it to get drunk
And most people who get drunk, don't want a hangover in the morning. Hey Presto! Synthehol!
For those who want the taste, ..., and you couldn't get the same flavor with this stuff.
Since we're having a theoretical debate "There's no scientific reason...", I will further the claim and say there is no scientific reason why we can't make Star Trek wine which tastes EXACTLY like the real thing.

By the way this Professor Nutt is a psychopharmacologist which is wrong on so many levels...

The Nutty Professor?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127817)

But seriously, this guy must have hated life as an undergrad. Perhaps this is his get back at the nay-sayers who gave him so many years of ridicule... Okay, perhaps not *sigh*

Star Trekkin. (4, Interesting)

RandomLinguist (712026) | about 8 years ago | (#15127818)

It seems to me sometimes that we focus more on trying to make the 'cool' tech and gadgets from the tv shows of our childhood than making new innovations sometimes. I wonder if it actually inhibits science to try and make it fit to fiction, or whether fiction really is the best inspiration.

On the other hand, I really, really want my own replicator.

Re:Star Trekkin. (1)

senocular (519317) | about 8 years ago | (#15128002)

These innovations you speak of are exactly what science fiction writers have been able to conceive without the technology to reproduce it. They were unbound by technological restrictions and thereby able to innovate before it was possible to create. So ideally, we should strive to achieve what has already been conceived.

Great... (-1, Flamebait)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 years ago | (#15127820)

So now there's that much _LESS_ to stop people from drinking too much...

So... how many people in excess of typical norms have to die before they realize this was a bad can of worms to open?

Sorry if I seem a tad against the idea... but I think alchohol is a waste of time and money that could better be used to improve oneself and the society in which they live.

Re:Great... (5, Insightful)

r00zky (622648) | about 8 years ago | (#15127845)

Sorry if I seem a tad against the idea... but I think alchohol is a waste of time and money that could better be used to improve oneself and the society in which they live.

The same could be said about Slashdot but you still post in here.

Alchohol is a waste of time and money (4, Funny)

palad1 (571416) | about 8 years ago | (#15128068)

The same could be said about Slashdot but you still post in here.

Only when I'm drunk!

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127878)

Jezz, who pissed in your cornflakes?

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127970)

I take it you never got drunk during your teens then? You've been modded flamebait but what you say is true. In Spain alcohol causes most car accidents and, sadly, there are far more bars per square Km than any other type of store. People who die in car accidents because they drank too much? Screw them, it's called natural selection, the idiots die first. This being slashdot you'd figure people would be intelligent enough to avoid a neurotoxic drug like booze altogether. Sigh.

Re:Great... (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 8 years ago | (#15127976)


So... how many people in excess of typical norms have to die before they realize this was a bad can of worms to open?

How many people have to use alcohol responsibly before you realize that for the vast majority of people it's not "a bad can of worms to open"?

Sorry if I seem a tad against the idea... but I think alchohol is a waste of time and money that could better be used to improve oneself and the society in which they live.

Spoken by someone that's probbably never had a hard day and needed to relax. Do you seriously work all the time on improving yourself and society, or do you need a break now and again? Movies, television, computer games, and the internet could all be considered by some "a waste of time and money that could be better used to improve oneself". We human beings need stress reduction. Many of us choose to drink a moderate amount to do so. If alcohol doesn't do it for you, great, don't drink. But if you can't see the benefits for responsible people who use it, you're just plain blind.

Re:Great... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15128018)

Spoken by someone that's probbably never had a hard day and needed to relax.

Or by someone that is way too tightly wound to ever relax.

Re:Great... (1)

stinerman (812158) | about 8 years ago | (#15128005)

I agree.

The only bad part is that when you outlaw alcohol, only outlaws will become alcoholics ... or something to that effect. ;-)

I think drinking is one of the single stupidest things anyone could ever do. I also believe the drinking age should be lowered to 18, possibly 16. I also believe you should be able to buy crack at your local store. The problem comes when you think your beliefs regarding morality should be imposed on others.

Yah, alcohol (4, Insightful)

lazuli42 (219080) | about 8 years ago | (#15127822)

The future of alcoholism just got brighter.

Now if only they could get rid of the part of alcohol that makes people act like assholes.

Re:Yah, alcohol (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15127924)

Now if only they could get rid of the part of alcohol that makes people act like assholes.

Indeed, I'm waiting for the alcohol that eliminates unpleasant side effects like; intoxication.

As a friend of mine noted, as we watched the tables, chairs and fists flying around the bar:

"Now there's a good idea, why don't we mix big, stupid people with alcohol?"

Or, as an alcohol counselor friend of mine noted when I asked him why some people seemed to like getting wasted when all it does is make you feel like absolute shit:

"Ah, well, you're not an alcoholic."

He also noted that after 40 years in the business he could tell a lot about people by their drug of choice; and that alcohol was the drug of choice of people who were essentially unhappy and wanted to be numbed.

There is a phrase, however, for ingesting depressants to be "happy":

Vicious Cycle.

KFG

Re:Yah, alcohol (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127988)

I'm posting this anonymously, because I'm an addict.

You have some good insights into the problems of the addict, even if you don't or can't understand what it's like to be one, as you imply.

The underlying drive of the addict is not so much to feel good as it is to feel differently from what ever base state they are used to feeling (unhappiness). Any feeling is better than the underlying feeling of unhappiness, even total lack of feeling. (It's interesting that at the same time, many drunks tend to extreme emotions of anger or sentimentality.)Some of us have drugs of choice, such as alcohol, speed, marijuana, etc., while others of us will imbibe anything and everything they can get their hands on.

I wonder if anyone will ever be able to create an alcohol that is safe for alcoholics to drink. Even if they can find away not to trigger the physical craving response by some subtle manipulation of the molecules, how can they remove the powerful psychological urge?

I could ramble on, but in short, I don't think this represents any sort of cure for alcoholism. It might be a great boon for non-alcoholics to enjoy, but this won't stop the progressive spiral of destruction of a person addicted to alcohol.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that with you. You've always seemed like the decent sort, KFG.

Re:Yah, alcohol (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 8 years ago | (#15127994)

"He also noted that after 40 years in the business he could tell a lot about people by their drug of choice; and that alcohol was the drug of choice of people who were essentially unhappy and wanted to be numbed."

Just out of curiosity, what did he say about the other drugs?

Re:Yah, alcohol (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#15128059)

There is actually a substance that gets you almost the same effects without making people as violent as alc makes some.

Unfortunately that substance is illegal in most places, the only place I know where you can legally enjoy it is the Netherlands.

Re:Yah, alcohol (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 8 years ago | (#15128094)

We used to have a place selling it openly... totally illegal, but even though it was a stones throw from the police station they only staged a raid (and even then they tended to give some warning) when some reported decided to make an issue of it.

It was easier for them to leave it because:

1. It massively undercut the street dealers, only sold the one thing, and sold quality.
2. Even though it was open until late into the night, there was never once a violent incident in or around it.. in fact the crime rate fell around 20% in that area.
3. Several of the local police shopped there.

Eventually closed because the landlord got jittery and wanted them out. There's still one a few miles up the road though...

Oh no... (5, Funny)

likwidoxigen (925099) | about 8 years ago | (#15127827)

Speaking from the perspective of an American College student whom is reasonabally responsible. DO NOT REMOVE THE HANGOVER! I can only imagine how little work I would get done, and how many more students would fail out of college. There needs to be a bit of punishment, or else mass irresponisbilty would follow.

Re:Oh no... (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 8 years ago | (#15127839)

Failing college is the punishment. If you're stupid enough to drink to such excess after learning your own limits you probably don't belong there anyway.

Re:Oh no... (1)

ciroknight (601098) | about 8 years ago | (#15127881)

It's likely with the complexity and the number of drugs required to pull off this "synthetic alcohol", that not only would it be outside of the budget of most college students, it would probably also be only available by prescription only, and only for use for extreme alcholics who cannot function in ordinary life (since as any addict can tell you, quitting cold turkey is tough, and has a high failure rate).

Re:Oh no... (1)

gbobeck (926553) | about 8 years ago | (#15127905)

Being a college student myself, I can speculate that one of the following will occur: (1) College students would find a way to make it in Chem lab. (2) If it was available by perscription only, there would be a person who would act as a source on campus just for the sheer profit of it.

Re:Oh no... (1)

ciroknight (601098) | about 8 years ago | (#15127923)

"(1) College students would find a way to make it in Chem lab. "

Considering it will require at least 3 named psycho-active drugs, in delicate balance, I doubt it's going to be easy for a student, or a drug company, to just cook up in a lab.

(2) If it was available by perscription only, there would be a person who would act as a source on campus just for the sheer profit of it.

Sure thing, but as soon as one of them dies a horrible death from the side effects of the medicines involved, hopefully they'll learn their lesson and switch back to the sub-$100 dollar, relatively safer version of alcohol readily available on the market, and much easier to obtain (and make in a chem-lab, or purchase from a chemical supplier, or make yourself with yeast.. you get the idea).

Re:Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127977)

While you can quite heroin cold turkey quitting alcohol that way is dangerous and can kill you if you've been a heavy drinker for years. Yes, it's very sad that such a toxic drug is sold legally.

Re:Oh no... (3, Interesting)

hclyff (925743) | about 8 years ago | (#15127925)

Maybe it's just me, but when I'm drinking I never think about hangover until I get it. As long as I'm not in that cursed 'am I dead yet?' stage known as hangover, it's just some mildly unpleasant thing I know I will have to go through at some point later.

But anyway, if hangover keeps you from drinking, good for you!

Safety of our children? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127834)

How will our children learn that "drinking is bad" when they don't get any nasty side effects from this stuff? How will they know that they shouldn't drink and drive if we have no fresh recent footage of drunkified car crashes? Unchecked, this will end up being used as a gateway drink to harsher stuff like brown liquors, vodka, and ball sap.

PS. It has been TEN FUCKING YEARS since you last successfully posted a comment.

It'll never happen... (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 8 years ago | (#15127850)

It's hard enough to get the much less addictive and less harmfull drugs like Marijuana that people have used for thousands of years to be legal. Making some new alcohol like substance legal as a recreational drug would be near impossible.

Really, if alcohol didn't have the added guise of also being a food, and being impossibly easy to create on your own it'd be illegal now.

Re:It'll never happen... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127880)

Alcohol *is* easily produced synthetically - Ethanol [wikipedia.org] . Simply add it to your favorite soft drink (diet if you want something close to completely synthetic) to create a completely synthetic alcoholic beverage.

Re:It'll never happen... (3, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | about 8 years ago | (#15127972)

Oh Please, the inverse is true; the Drug Companies are some of the largest politically charged industries in current existance, and as a result, a lot of drugs that shouldn't be on the market get there (COX2 Inhibiting NSAIDs are virtually unilaterally linked to heart problems, and yet many are still on the market, and still cost a fortune).

On the other hand, pot is cheap, it's easily home grown, and some studies have shown it does more damage to your lungs than smoking a pack of cigarrettes. And since there really isn't a political lobbying force trying to get this "much needed pharmacutical" on the market legally... Hell, even with some doctors pushing its obvious medical uses, it's still been a tough sell.

Think about Opiods. Then think about how much money has been made using synthetic opiates. The fact remains, the market for synthetic drugs is much greater than the market for naturally occuring drugs due to the corporate and political climates in this country, and because it's easy to convince people with vague symptoms that they have some disease and need a medicine to treat it.

Re:It'll never happen... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | about 8 years ago | (#15128008)

I honestly don't know what the point that you're trying to make is. I largely agree with the facts you've presented, but what is it you're using them as evidence for?

And also how safe are synthetic "alcohol"? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 years ago | (#15128077)

Considering how few of all the synthethic shit we are putting into our self (to cure stuff and so on) and their bi-effects, what would you rather use? The natural real thing or the synthetic version?

Atleast our bodies know how to deal with alcohol and get it out of the system. What biological "units" have understood how to handle "synthehol"?

synthehol (1)

TheScorpion420 (760125) | about 8 years ago | (#15127862)

Wasn't the real attractiveness of synthehol the fact that you could be drunk as hell and become completely sobre with just a hypospray of sorts? An interesting article here [memory-alpha.org]

One good reason it'll never happen... (3, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | about 8 years ago | (#15127885)

The authorities have already lost the plot in the war on drugs. What with meth anphetamine, ecstacy, LSD and any number of other lab created drugs out there, do you really think that any government is going to allow another synthetically produced substance that alters your mood in any way whatsoever? The moment it happens the meddlers and self-appointed moral guardians that prescribe what is and isn't good for us, would be calling for a ban.

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (2, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | about 8 years ago | (#15127914)

Wow, I'm glad those drug companies aren't making a shitton of money on drugs that we don't need like anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, because the way you make it sound, the government would _never_ let those drugs come to market.

Oh wait, aren't those the two drugs with the highest market value outside of painkillers (opioids or NSAIDs)? Believe it or not, there is a market for this stuff, as a huge percentage of this country suffers from alcoholism, and a lot of people that are a year away from needing a liver transplant could be helped down from the habit early enough to keep them from needing invasive surgery and a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs.

Of course, this stuff's still going to be hella expensive (due to the number of psycho-active drugs neccesary, and because of the amount of testing it will require), and doubtful the FDA would EVER consider it for OTC usage..

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127985)

> I'm glad those drug companies aren't making a shitton of money on drugs that we don't need like
> anti-psychotics and anti-depressants
You're welcome to tell my near-suicidal father and nonfunctioning, overanxious older sister that they don't need antidepressants.

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (5, Insightful)

gbobeck (926553) | about 8 years ago | (#15127920)

...do you really think that any government is going to allow another synthetically produced substance that alters your mood in any way whatsoever?


Hmmm... lets see: Prozac [prozac.com] , Ritalin, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pexeva, Zoloft, Elavil, Norpramin, Tofranil, Aventyl, Pamelor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor...

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (0, Flamebait)

Shihar (153932) | about 8 years ago | (#15127980)

I think the point is about the government being utterly against recreational drugs, no matter how benign. It is pretty damn hard to imagine anything more benign then THC (the active ingredient of marijuana), yet that is still considered to be illegal.

As for the drugs you list, most people who have used those drugs will likely tell you that they hardly fall under the "recreational" category. My girlfriend went through half of that list trying to find something that would work for her and it was far from pleasant to watch. Zoloft in particular actually drove her insane on the first (and last) dose she took. She found the right combination eventually, but not before going through others that made her miserable, crazy, apathetic, insane, or some combination thereof. Even if the drugs do end up working, they can have some very ugly side effects.

The government is simply against recreational drugs in any shape or form. If you can't go buy THC, it is pretty safe to say that they will never allow any sort of recreational drug.

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (1)

value_added (719364) | about 8 years ago | (#15127989)

Hmmm... lets see: Prozac, Ritalin, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pexeva, Zoloft, Elavil, Norpramin, Tofranil, Aventyl, Pamelor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor...

LOL. Family hour commercials on network television.

Re:One good reason it'll never happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127952)

do you really think that any government is going to allow another synthetically produced substance that alters your mood

The government is already supplying a synthetically made substance that alters our mood. Why are you bringing up the Iraq war in this thread?

It already exists (4, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | about 8 years ago | (#15127893)

...and it's called pot.

Re:It already exists (1)

venicebeach (702856) | about 8 years ago | (#15127992)

No....

You're saying that pot has the same effects as alcohol but without the hangover? It seems to me the effects of these two substances are quite distinct. I'm not saying they have nothing in common, but they work on quite different systems in the brain, and it's quite easy to tell apart someone on alcohol from someone on marijuana (from a 1st or 3rd person point of view). Each of these states of consciousness are useful in their own way, but they are not the same state; one does not adequately substitute for the other.

risk of psychosis and anxiety (3, Funny)

fantomas (94850) | about 8 years ago | (#15128039)

wikipedia: [wikipedia.org] -- "studies have shown that a risk does exist in some individuals to develop symptoms of psychosis [1] and anxiety [2]"



Plus of course regular heavy use may bring on the more feared long term addiction to tie dyed clothing, Grateful Dead, and believing one to be living in California in the late 1960s...

#1 Prospective cohort study of cannabis use, predisposition for psychosis, and psychotic symptoms in young people, by Cécile Henquet, Lydia Krabbendam, Janneke Spauwen, Charles Kaplan, Roselind Lieb, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen and Jim van Os, British Medical Journal, December 2004, Volume 330: 11

#2 Cannabis use and mental health in young people: cohort study, by G C Patton, Carolyn Coffey, J B Carlin, Louisa Degenhardt, Micheal Lynskey and Wayne Hall, British Medical Journal, 2005, Volume 325: 1195

Yeah it's called "opium"... (4, Interesting)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | about 8 years ago | (#15127897)

and it's illegal. Well ok, it's not at all the same type of high, but the health side effects from opium use are negligible compared to alcohol. Alcohol and tobacco are only legal because they're already legal, and there are (as already has been demonstrated) social, economic and political consequences for changing our stance on these. If they had just suddenly been introduced today, no way would you would be able to legally manufacture, sell or possess them.


We can also thank our anti-drug culture the practice of adding things such as acetaminophen to opiates (e.g., vicodin and oxycodone) to make sure it destroys your liver if you become addicted (as a "deterrent"). Given this, I don't think the government, or whoever decides such things, would be terribly pleased with a readily available drug with the "positive" effects of alcohol and none of the negative effects. If this really shows up, don't be surprised if it is simply labelled a "designer" drug and made highly illegal.

Not deterrents (1)

NekoXP (67564) | about 8 years ago | (#15127953)

They add acetaminophen and aspirin to the opiate because it increases the effect of the opiate.

Distill out the hydrocodone from a vicodin and take it and you'll be sorely disappointed..

Blame Nutt (1)

protich (961854) | about 8 years ago | (#15127899)

In the news today: April 01, 2010. Synthehol Nation: Synthehol is everywhere...thanks to Dr David Nutt. 98% of the population abuse alcohol (I meant Synthenol)...because of NO hangovers. Dr. Nutt is now working on a new product Synmetol (Meth without side effects). In other news...4 lawsuits have been filled aganist Dr. Nutt by 2 ex-Synthehol users. Seriously...the only reason I don't brink is because of hangovers.

fighting hangovers (2, Informative)

Paolone (939023) | about 8 years ago | (#15127962)

Hangovers in my experience are caused by 2 things: 1: bad alchool, since methanol really frags up your body and makes you sick, being broken up in formic acid and formaldehyde, which also makes you blind destroying your optic nerve. 2: dehydratation, since alchool, well, makes you go to the loo way too much. It's a killer when combined with dancing because you also sweat a lot. My solution? Drink good quality vodka (low methanol) mixed with soda and lemon juice (good for fighting dehydratation). Unless I mix with some strange stuff I get offered from mates the next day I'm perfectly fine for a saturday morning of coding.

GHB (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127909)

Actually there is a very good substitute for alcohol, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ghb/ [erowid.org] ). It is toxic at high dose (and mixed with alcohol), but at normal levels it feels the same as alcohol and is much healthier and without the hangover effect...

Re:GHB (3, Insightful)

fabs64 (657132) | about 8 years ago | (#15128027)

Advertising a drug like GHB as being "healthier" than alcohol at normal levels is pretty screwed up man, seeing as it's ridiculously easy to make and as a result most of the stuff that you could buy on the street is made by some skeg bastard in his garage and is contaminated with nasties.

In the name of science (5, Funny)

Thnikkaman (818752) | about 8 years ago | (#15127932)

If the inventors would like to send me a few kegs, I will consume them. Purely in the name of science, of course.

Cool (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | about 8 years ago | (#15127935)

If people are gonna use, they're gonna use. Seems like removing the hangover is enabling on one hand, but relief for those who live with grumpy hangover drinkers on the other.
    Personally, I'm waiting for phasers (replace paintball with stuns, much more fun) transporters (bank/vault walls? what?) and protoplasers (Sealing orifices shut "accidentally" - whoa.).

Economically feasible? (3, Interesting)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | about 8 years ago | (#15127948)

I don't think you would be able to organically synthesise anything and then expect to put it 5% in a aqueous solution, and STILL make it for less than $1 a bottle.

and more ... (1)

LarryLart (612662) | about 8 years ago | (#15127955)

True, there is no scientific reason as why not ... perhaps just a lack of interest until now... And I am also sure they could create something to inhibit the absorption rate at a certain level to avoid the other side effect.

Same they can do with drugs - they could create drugs with no dependency effect and sell them legally at every pharmacy. This way we can gain control on the drug usage problem and put out of business a huge criminal network.
Well, instead they choose a simpler inefficient solution to ban ... from which the only result was an well established network of drug dealers.

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127957)

Kirk: Chekov, you know anything about a neutron radiation surge?
Chekov: Only the size of my head.

Sounds like GHB (2, Informative)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 8 years ago | (#15127960)

it already exists and it is illegal, ghb produces effects very similar to alcohol,
with much smaller dosage and few side effects. it works on gaba receptors like
alcohol does.

Legality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15127969)

It always amazes me to see a group of well educated 18-45 year olds with loads of income talk about the government as if they had no control over it. Guess what, you're their target audience. You want pot to be legal? You can do it. You want synthehol? You can do it. At what point do rich white geeks stop blaming government and start changing it?

The only thing stopping you is the belief you can't do anything about it.

Funny name (0, Redundant)

wolf369T (951405) | about 8 years ago | (#15127981)

"Professor David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the UK
He's Nutts...

Politics (4, Insightful)

arrrrg (902404) | about 8 years ago | (#15128050)

(rant) Meth, tobacco, alcohol, and perhaps PCP are the worst popular drugs, in terms of bodily harm. People do fucked up things when they're addicted to heroin, etc, but the drug itself is not that bad for you. From Wikipedia: ... "Francis L. Young, an administrative law judge with the Drug Enforcement Agency, has declared that in its natural form, (cannabis) is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known." Whereas tobacco is the biggest easily preventable cause of death/bodily harm out there, with alcohol not too far behind. Its about protecting the interests of big tobacco and alcohol, not about the safety of people or even cost to society in terms of medical expenses, etc. Plus this way the politicians get to seem "pro-family" in their strong stance against "dangerous drugs". In this context, would it really be possible for some new drug to be allowed, even if it removes some of the negative consequences of alcohol (see GHB, benzodiazapenes, etc. etc.) (/rant)

I remember this 5 years ago, any ideas? (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | about 8 years ago | (#15128051)

I remember a guy (in New Zealand) was selling CD cleaner and people were drinking it like alcohol, and claimed it had the same effect as alcohol, but without the hangover. Does anyone remember what it was? It wasn't GHB (Fantasy), and definatly not diethanol (ethylene glycol). I keep thinking it was 1,4 Dibutanol. Any ideas anyone?
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