Not sure whether this is offensive or helpful, but scientists in Chile are developing an “alcohol vaccine” that would prevent alcoholics from drinking simply by making it feel terrible immediately.
Chile apparently has a large and growing alcoholism issue, with one in fifteen men having a drinking problem. Scientists at the University of Chile took inspiration from Asian countries where between 15 and 20 percent of the population is unable to metabolize alcohol and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could make alcoholics like that?”
Their new drug acts like a vaccine that, once injected, turns off the liver’s ability to properly metabolize alcohol, making you feel like a superhero for a few hours and then transmogrifying your body into a living nightmare the next morning. The shot would essentially remove the body’s superhero capacity and make you feel the effects of an extremely strong hangover once any alcohol is consumed. It’s like an engine governor for your body.
Daily Mail reports, “If someone who’s been vaccinated tries to drink alcohol, they will immediately experience severe nausea, accelerated heartbeat, and general discomfort.”
The shot is supposed to last between six months and a year, and once injected can’t be reversed. Scientists are expected to start clinical trials on mice in February with tests on humans starting in November.
In keeping with the philosophically ambiguous designation of alcoholism as a “disease,” one of the scientists talked about the intersection of the “vaccine” with social stigmas in an appropriately awkward fashion: “People who end up alcoholic have a social problem; a personality problem because they’re shy, whatever, and then they are depressed, so it’s not so simple. But if we can solve the chemical, the basic part of the problem, I think it could help quite a bit.”