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Alcohol and Health

Does Synthetic Alcohol Promise To Make Drinking Safer?

January 10, 2024
12 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
January 10, 2024
12 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
January 10, 2024
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
January 10, 2024
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Reframe Content Team
January 10, 2024
12 min read

People drink alcohol for many reasons: to feel more sociable, to feel powerful, to forget problems, to get drunk, for fun, or as part of a ritual. However, most research splits alcohol drinkers into two main groups.

The first group drinks to deal with negative feelings. Researchers call this "personal-effect motives," but it's often known as "drinking to cope" or using alcohol to escape or handle negative emotions.

The second group drinks to enhance their experience. Researchers call these "social-effect motives." Social-effect motives include drinking to socialize, celebrate, and have a good time with others.

Studies have shown that most people say they drink for social reasons. However, heavy drinkers often drink more to cope than people who don't drink as much. And drinking to cope is dangerous because it’s more likely to lead to alcohol abuse. 

This is why synthetic alcohol could be a groundbreaking advance in the beverage industry. For those of us who drink to cope, synthetic alternatives could reduce the harmful effects of ethanol and the risk of abuse.

For social drinkers, synthetic alcohol could also provide the enjoyment of a drink without the hangover and other health consequences. 

What Is Synthetic Alcohol?

Traditional alcohol, which is created by fermenting grains and grapes, can be bad for our health for a slew of reasons. 

On the other hand, synthetic alcohol, also called "alcosynth," is made from a mix of chemicals designed to provide the light buzz associated with regular alcohol consumption without the bad side effects like hangovers. 

Alcosynth researchers focus on creating molecules that interact with certain receptors of the brain. The synthesized compounds undergo rigorous tests to ensure that they are effective and safe for consumption; this can involve various lab trials to observe how the compounds interact with human cells. 

Once a safe compound has been developed, it will be formulated into a consumable product that can be combined with other non-alcoholic ingredients, flavors, and stabilizers.

Does Synthetic Alcohol Make You Drunk?

Synthetic alcohol is being developed to let us enjoy drinks without the usual downsides of regular alcohol, like hangovers or health issues. However, the research is still evolving: researchers are still figuring out the best mix to make sure it's both safe and works effectively.

Synthetic Alcohol Ingredients

Here’s what's usually included in synthetic alcoholic beverages:

Modified ethanol. These are chemically modified forms of ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but changed to be less harmful.

Benzodiazepine derivatives. The formulations of synthetic alcohol are similar to certain derivatives of benzodiazepines. Traditional benzodiazepines can become addictive; however, synthetic alcohol contains only controlled amounts to help induce relaxation.

Non-toxic flavoring. Synthetic alcohol has non-toxic ingredients that are added to improve its taste and mimic the appearance of traditional alcoholic beverages.

Chemical compounds that mimic alcohol’s effects. Scientists are exploring various chemical compounds to replicate the relaxing and euphoric effects of alcohol. In line with this, more controlled and less harmful compounds are being designed to interact with brain receptors.

Preservatives & stabilizers. Preservatives and stabilizers are also added to synthetic alcohol to guarantee a stable shelf life.

Understanding Alcarelle and Its Mechanisms

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a brain chemical that calms brain activity by blocking certain messages in the nervous system. Alcohol is thought to have a similar effect, and this understanding of how the brain works led to the creation of Alcarelle by its developers.

Alcarelle is a synthetic, transparent liquid that triggers GABA in the brain. It was created by GABA Labs and neuro-psycho pharmacologist Professor David Nutt, and it mimics the calming effects of GABA. It just might transform the way we drink alcohol. The ultimate goal is to get Alcarelle into the global beverage industry, leading to a new era of non-alcoholic beverages.

What Makes Alcarelle Unique?

Alcarelle stands out because it targets specific parts of the brain, unlike regular alcohol (ethanol), which affects many areas of the brain and body. Alcarelle focuses on just some brain regions to avoid usual alcohol problems like hangovers, addiction, and liver damage.

Alcarelle could be helpful for public health, too, since using this kind of synthetic alcohol lowers the risks that come with regular alcohol consumption.

Alcarelle is a big step forward in synthetic drinks because it is backed by scientific research, especially neuroscience, and it can potentially change our relationship with alcohol forever.

Create Healthier Drinking Habits Now

While synthetic alcohol options are still being developed, there are ways you can practice conscious and safe drinking habits in the meantime.

  1. Stay informed. It's important to keep up with the latest developments in synthetic alcohol by reading the latest articles, tuning into what health professionals say, and weighing the good and bad of these new drinks.
  1. Practice mindful drinking. Ask yourself why you’re reaching for a drink. Is it stress, or do you just want to have a great time in social settings? Becoming aware of how drinking affects both your body and mind is helpful in practicing mindful drinking.
  1. Find your tribe. Joining groups that focus on drinking responsibly is a game-changer. It's amazing what you can learn and the support you can get, especially when it comes to understanding synthetic alcohol.
  1. Try it out safely. If you're thinking about sampling synthetic alcohol, do it wisely. Always make sure not to mix it with other stuff, especially when performing activities requiring full concentration, like driving. 
  1. Support healthy choices. Getting involved in community projects or chatting with local stores about healthier options like synthetic alcohol can make a difference.

Responsible Drinking with Synthetic Alcohol

For those who drink to cope with stress or other unpleasant emotions, synthetic alcohol could be a safer choice to help avoid regular alcohol’s risks. And for those who drink for fun, it means enjoying time with friends or loved ones without worrying about hangovers or long-term health issues.

What's interesting about synthetic alcohol is how it could change not just drinks but also the way we socialize and take care of ourselves. It's about having a good time without the guilt or risks. As scientists keep working on this development, we might soon see a new way of drinking that's both fun and mindful.

If you want to cut back on your alcohol consumption but don’t know where to start, consider trying Reframe. We’re a neuroscience-backed app that has helped millions of people reduce their alcohol consumption and develop healthier lifestyle habits. 

Summary FAQs

1. Does synthetic alcohol promise to make drinking safer?

Synthetic alcohol, or 'alcosynth,' is designed to offer the pleasurable effects of traditional alcohol without its harmful consequences, such as hangovers or health risks. This innovation holds potential for both social drinkers, who seek the enjoyment of alcohol without adverse effects, and for those who drink to cope, potentially reducing the risk of alcohol abuse.

2. What is synthetic alcohol?

Synthetic alcohol is a chemically engineered substitute for traditional alcohol, created to provide the buzz of regular alcohol without negative side effects like hangovers or health risks. Unlike traditional alcohol, which is derived from fermenting grains and grapes, synthetic alcohol is crafted in laboratories, aiming to deliver the positive aspects of drinking, such as relaxation and happiness, without leading to addiction or liver damage.

3. Does synthetic alcohol make you drunk?

Synthetic alcohol is designed to offer the enjoyable effects of drinking, such as a light buzz, without the downsides of regular alcohol. However, as this field is still in development, the exact formulation varies, and research is ongoing to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products in replicating the desired effects of traditional alcoholic beverages.

4. What is Alcarelle and how does it work?

Alcarelle is a synthetic, transparent liquid developed by GABA Labs and neuro-psycho pharmacologist Professor David Nutt, designed to mimic the calming effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Unlike regular alcohol, which affects many areas of the brain and body, Alcarelle targets specific brain regions to offer the benefits of alcohol, like relaxation, without the negative effects like hangovers, addiction, and liver damage.

5. Is Alcarelle a solution for hangover-free drinking?

Alcarelle aims to provide a hangover-free drinking experience by avoiding the blood sugar imbalances caused by traditional alcohol. This innovative approach allows users to enjoy the social and relaxing aspects of drinking without the next-day consequences typically associated with alcohol consumption.

6. How can I consume synthetic alcohol responsibly?

To consume synthetic alcohol responsibly, it's crucial to stay informed about the latest developments and recommendations from health professionals. Practicing mindful drinking by being aware of your reasons for drinking, such as stress relief or social enjoyment, and understanding its effects on your body and mind is also key.

7. What are some ways to safely explore synthetic alcohol like Alcarelle?

If you're considering trying synthetic alcohol like Alcarelle, it's important to do so safely by avoiding mixing it with other substances and not engaging in activities that require full concentration, like driving, while under its influence. Additionally, joining groups focused on responsible drinking and supporting community initiatives that promote healthier choices can enhance your understanding and experience with these new beverages.

A Path Forward With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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