With the holiday season upon us, drinking is at a yearly high.
But, while countries like Australia, Great Britain, and most recently, America, support a massive drinking culture, scientists have hypothesized that alcohol as we know it won’t exist within a decade.
In an interview with IB Times, former government drug adviser, Professor David Nutt, says that alcohol “could practically disappear from Western countries within a generation.”
This prediction is in direct contrast to a recent report released by Allied Market Research which projects the Alcoholic Beverages Market is expected to reach $1,594 Billion, globally, by 2022.
So, is Professor Nutt’s hypothesize as nutty as it sounds? Not really.
Instead of eliminating alcohol altogether, he believes that a synthetic version of alcohol which isn’t as harmful and won’t give people headaches or hangovers will become the new norm.
“In another 10 or 20 years, Western societies won’t drink alcohol except on rare occasions,” he predicted.
“Alcosynth will become the preferred drink, in the same way that I can see – almost within a decade now in the Western world – tobacco and cigarettes will disappear as they’re replaced by electronic cigarettes.”
At present, more than 3.3 million deaths worldwide are the result of alcohol and it is hoped that the synthetic versions of popular beverages will bring the number down dramatically.
According to the ABC, 15 people die each day in Australia from alcohol-related illnesses, with a further 430 people being admitted to hospital each day.
So how do the synthetics actually work?
IB Times suggests that the synthetics don’t damage the liver, heart, blood vessels or brain, but still give you the same pleasurable feelings of normal alcohol.
After the story ran in a segment on Australia’s popular morning show, Today, many people took to their keyboards to weigh-in online.
One skeptical person wrote: “As soon as you hear the word synthetic, automatically you know it will do more damage than naturally forming alcohol…”
Another viewer added: “Synthetic isn’t at all healthy. It will just increase more illnesses within the body.”
A third comment read: “I’d rather drink water and they use their research funds to focus on cancer.”
One of the show’s hosts said that it’s not healthy to avoid a hangover altogether, noting that it’s usually our bodies telling us that we’ve had too much to drink.