Alcohol detox and rehabilitation are treatments for those who suffer from alcoholism; unfortunately, many people around the UK need these services. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance that causes substantial harm to those who abuse it.
Regularly drinking over the recommended allowance of fourteen units per week can lead to physical and mental health problems as well as addiction. But what if there was a substance that could mimic the positive effects of alcohol, without the adverse side effects? This sounds too gdadsao be true, but according to Professor David Nutt from Imperial College, a synthetic hangover-free alcohol could completely replace alcohol as we know it now by 2050.
A Safer Alternative to Alcohol?
Professor Nutt developed ‘alcosynth’, which he says will ensure that drinkers continue to enjoy the positive experience of alcohol but will no longer suffer from a pounding headache, nausea, dizziness or a dry mouth. He added, “It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they’ll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you’ll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart. They go very nicely into mojitos. They even go into something as clear as a Tom Collins. One is pretty tasteless; the other has a bitter taste.”
In order to create alcosynth, Professor Nutt trialled almost a hundred different compounds to find a substance that would affect the brain in a similar way to regular alcohol but without the nasty side effects. He said he is hoping that by 2050, alcosynth will replace existing alcohol. He said, “We know a lot about the brain science of alcohol; it’s become very well understood in the last 30 years. So we know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them. And by not touching the bad areas, we don’t have the bad effects.”
Alcosynth could be the answer to the societal problems caused by regular alcohol, particularly in Wales, where sixty per cent of adults say another person’s drinking has harmed them, according to a survey.
A report by Public Health Wales (PHW) stated that twenty per cent of adults had been physically threatened by another person under the influence of alcohol, eleven per cent had suffered damage to their property, and five per cent had been assaulted by someone who had been drinking.
Alcohol Concern Cymru’s Andrew Misell said, “It is time to ask whether we want alcohol to play such a prominent part in so many areas of life”.
The report was conducted by PHW along with Liverpool John Moores University and is titled Alcohol’s Harms to Others. In it, 1,071 people over the age of eighteen were surveyed across Wales. PHW’s Professor Mark Bellis said, “Some of these harms are due to drunken violence, but others result from accidents, threats or even financial problems when too much household income goes on one person’s drinking.”
The results of the survey showed that the majority of harm caused by those under the influence of alcohol was carried out by individuals known to the victim. In most cases, the drinker was a family member, partner or friend. Types of harm included serious arguments, needing to call the police, and turning to alcohol in a bid to cope with the behaviour.
According to Dr Zara Quigg from Liverpool John Moores University: “Identifying the broad impact that alcohol use can have on individuals, those around them and wider society is important to informing the development, implementation and targeting of interventions to reduce and prevent alcohol-related harms.”
Hopefully, the future will see alcosynth replacing alcohol and then having a positive impact on society as a whole. However, for now, there still needs to be more education on the dangers of alcohol abuse because more and more people are affected by this chemical substance every day and it is placing a huge burden on the economy.
At the moment, those with alcohol addiction will usually be expected to complete an alcohol detox prior to starting a programme of rehabilitation. Alcohol detox programmes are available around the country and, in most instances, it is advisable for those who want to overcome alcoholism to detox in a supervised facility.
Alcohol detox facilities are the safest and most comfortable places to quit drinking. With constant care and support, the process does not have to be painful, and the recovering alcoholic will have a greater chance of completing the detox without returning to alcohol.
Once detox has been completed, the individual can begin treatment in either an outpatient or inpatient clinic. Addiction Helper can provide information on the various treatment providers in and around your area, and can put you in touch with the clinic of your choice once you are ready to move forward. Contact us today for more information on how to start your recovery journey.
Sources: Alcohol drinkers in Wales ’cause harm to 60% of people’ (BBC)