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What is pharmacology's place in finding alternatives to alcohol?

London Journal of Psychopharmacology is proud to be publishing this leading research on the place of pharmacology in finding alternatives for alcohol. The following papers appear in the May 2006 issue:

Critique:

  • Alcohol alternatives a goal for psychopharmacology, by David J Nutt, University of Bristol, UK Commentaries:
  • Alcohol alternatives a goal for psychopharmacology, by Ian Ragan, CIR Consulting UK
  • Harm reduction lessons learned from tobacco control, by Marcus R Munaf, University of Bristol, UK
  • For alcohol alternatives, the science is not the hardest part, by Robin Room, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • The regulatory challenges in engineering a safer tipple, by Wayne Hall, University of Queensland, Australia

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 associate
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Contact: Fiona Barratt
fiona.barratt@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-8523
SAGE Publications
5-Apr-2006


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