As Prof Nutt, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Psychopharmacology, outlines in his piece, "Alcohol is a growing problem worldwide that some believe may have already overtaken tobacco in terms of overall health and social care costs because of the consequences of intoxication, such as accidents, with subsequent medical complications."
These papers discuss alternative models to the current approach to the sale and consumption of alcohol, such as removing or reducing alcohol content in drinks sold, especially beers and lager, and offering tax incentives for low alcohol or alcohol-free drinks.
These papers also discuss the scope for further pharmacological investigation into a chemical that can be substituted for alcohol without leading to the same level of misuse and dependence. New partial agonists (PA) could be used that would allow the user to enjoy the pleasurable effects of alcohol consumption but without the associated ill effects, such as memory loss and impaired motor skills.
There would need to be legislative reform governing outlets offering these PAs, but as this could potentially hold the key to eradicating the problems currently associated with alcohol misuse, such legislative reform may well be well placed.
About The British Association of Psychopharmacology:
The British Association of Psychopharmacology was founded in 1974, with the general intention of bringing together those from clinical and experimental disciplines as well as members of the pharmaceutical industry involved in the study of psychopharmacology. To this end the Association arranges scientific meetings, fosters research and teaching, encourages publication of results of research and provides guidance and information to the public on matters relevant to psychopharmacology. http://www.bap.org.uk
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.