A magic “stay sober” pill or a license to kill?

Posted on May 14, 2012


Doctors in the US, seemingly with too much time on their hands, are researching a drug that could stop alcohol making people drunk.

Typically The Telegraph have chosen to illustrate the story with an image of beer, obviously people NEVER get drunk on Vodka, but that’s not the annoyance in this instance. The researchers are claiming that the drug, iomazenil,  aims to wean heavy drinkers off alcohol by taking the pleasure out of alcohol and reducing the  impact of alcohol on the brain.

On the surface anything that has the potential to reduce harmful drinking and alcohol related deaths has to be seen as a good thing (especially since the latter have seen an increase, albeit small) so how many alcoholics have tried the drug so far….none. Instead the researchers have spent time getting people legless, giving them the drug and then popping them behind the wheel of a car, you have got to be kidding?!

Tests in a driving simulator will determine whether the drug makes volunteer drinkers safer behind the wheel after imbibing.The results of a pilot study suggest those who take iomazenil before drinking brake more quickly.

Why would anyone waste time creating a drug that would make people think they can drink and drive? Drink driving related deaths have fallen 83% in the last 30 years but there are still a minority of idiots that ignore the dangers and think they can drive safely under the influence, a drug that encourages that is dangerous, irresponsible and shouldn’t be in anyone’s thinking. The only way to take the harm out of drink driving is a zero tolerance approach – not a magic antidote that allows idiots to think they can have a skinful and then drive home.