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12/11/2013 06:39 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

David Nutt Develops 'Alcohol Substitute' Drug That Could Mean Getting Drunk Without The Hangover

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It could be a dream come true. Scientists have developed a drug which mimics all the positive effects of being drunk, without any of the health risks, addiction - or, crucially, hangovers.

Former government adviser Proffessor David Nutt said the discovery would lead to a "serious revolution in health."

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David Nutt has said science now allows us to develop a safer way to get drunk

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The drug targets the brain to give the taker fuzzy feelings of pleasure similar to the effects of drinking.

However, taking a simple antidote can block the effects immediately, leaving the user free to drive or return to work without a groggy head.

"It sounds like science fiction but these ambitions are well within the grasp of modern neuroscience," the scientist wrote in the Guardian.

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The professor, who was fired from his post as the Government's chief drugs advisor in 2009 for saying cannabis, ecstasy and LSD are less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes, claimed the drug would do for alcohol what the e-cigarette had done for smoking.

His revolutionary drug could be on the market within two years - if someone will fund his research into it.

He called on the Government to give an "explicit recommendation" in support of the drug to encourage investment, saying his innovation could save the NHS millions, with the Government currently forking out £3.5billion a year on alcohol-related illness.

Prof Nutt, who once claimed that taking ecstasy is no more dangerous riding a horse, and his team at Imperial College London have hit a stumbling block with their research and are now appealing for funds.

Unsurprisingly, no one in the drinks industry is keen to fund the drug's development.

Debate has already been sparked by those who enjoy the social aspects of drinking, along with the taste of a wine or beer, while others have questioned whether people, including motorists, will remember to take the antidote.

One Twitter user called the drug "creepy", comparing it to the ritualistic drink 'Soma' in Aldous Huxley's distopian fantasy Brave New World, while others reacted joyfully to the news they could effectively 'get drunk' and go to work unhindered the next day.

Speaking to the Dragon's Den presenter Evan Davis on the BBC's Today programme this morning, Prof Nutt appealed for investors to come forward and support his ground-breaking research.

He said: "I think this would be a serious revolution in health... just like the e-cigarette is going to revolutionise the smoking of tobacco.

"I find it weird that we haven't been speaking about this before, as it's such a target for health improvement."

The Professor said that the drug would be taken in the form of a range of cocktails, and added he had given it a go himself.

"I've done the prototype experiments myself many years ago, where I've been inebriated and then it's been reversed by the antagonist," he said.

"That's what really gave us the idea. There's no question that you can produce a whole range of effects like alcohol by manipulating the brain."

The charity Alcohol Concern argued people might become addicted to the alcohol substitute and said the Government would be better focusing on policies such as the minimum pricing of booze, the Daily Mail reported.