Here’s something frat boys and Trek fans can celebrate concurrently (with drinks): Synthohol is real. Yes, you can get that blissful elation that drinking gives you, without the throbbing headache, dry mouth and nausea that come with a night of fun (or an afternoon alone in one’s basement).
Alcosynth, as labelled by the inventor and neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt, was developed based on our growing understanding of brain chemistry as Nutt told The Independent: “[W]e 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.”
Professor Nutt seemed the right person to make this breakthrough, as he was the British government advisor to the several ministries including the Ministry of Health, who reportedly was terminated from his position after publishing an editorial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2009 that riding a horse was more dangerous than using ecstasy. This could be a boon to bartenders and bar-owners as well, as it may increase the market to people who normally avoid drinking for those reasons, and more practically skip the part of the night they have to mop up the bathroom because someone got sick all over the floor.
While alcosynth isn’t yet available to consumers (as it will likely have to go through a lengthy process to both clear it in various governments’ food and drug administration processes) the potential public health effects look to be rather positive. It goes without saying that heavy consumption of alcohol being linked to stroke, diabetes, liver diseases as well as social consequences such as lower productivity (due to hangovers), and alcosynth could help address those issues. That said, with the focus on neurochemistry, we’re still a far cry from knowing how it affects other organs (including those that process toxins). Fear not, we may still benefit from this in our lifetimes, as Nutt hopes that is invention could replace normal alcohol by 2050 (though Trek fans know that would be impossible, because even though Romulan Ale is illegal, it’s still consumed by virtually all Federation officers.)
We’ve all been beneficiaries of a world filled with Trek-esque technologies: automatic doors (that thankfully don’t make the ubiquitous whoosh noise), cool looking datapads, the merging of a communicator with a tricorder (with a universal translator) that we can watch cat videos on, and transparent aluminum. There are downsides to moving our society closer to Roddenberry’s vision of the future too. We are one step closer to having transport and holodeck malfunctions become a part of everyday life. Heaven forbid you come back from an away mission ending up younger than allowed to legally consume your end-of-shift regular synthohol cocktail.
With the way the world is going, it’s time to get your resume prepped for Starfleet Academy, practice your two-handed axe handle punches, learn an antiquated sport (like baseball), and pull out that trombone your mother made you learn for the school band.
Which Starfleet officer would you not want to get into a barfight with? Picard? Sisko? Worf? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image & Blog Image Credits: CBS Productions
Teri Litorco is a huge Star Trek fan and a drinking lightweight and looks forward to a day where she can have two drinks in an evening and not suffer consequences the next day. She’s also the author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, and co-hosts the weekly #StarTrekHour Twitter Chat with @Rikergoogling‘s Joe Sondow every Tuesday at 1PM PT, where everyone is invited to tackle a chosen episode of Trek like a book club, with less wine and more snark.