Myrkl could lead to people buying and consuming more alcohol
A new Swedish "pre-drinking pill" which went on sale in the UK this week could promote binge drinking according to a Scots charity.
Myrkl, which went on sale for £2 for two pills, is claimed to break down alcohol before it reaches the liver, preventing the formation of toxic acetaldehyde.
This drug is designed to place gut flora in the intestinal tract, specially selected for their ability to metabolise alcohol before it's absorbed into the blood.
Thus, it doesn't change the damaging effects alcohol can have on your stomach, but it appears to significantly reduce how much of the alcohol the body gets access to.
However a UK study released in 2010 by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs ranked alcohol as far and away the most harmful drug available, in a list that included heroin, crack, meth, cocaine, tobacco, cannabis, ketamine, GHB, MDMA and psychedelics.
Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said, “The best - and cheapest - way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much in one sitting.
"This pill means it will take longer for the effects of alcohol to be felt and that could lead to people buying and consuming more alcohol.
“That is the real worry of this pill - people may inadvertently end up drinking more than they normally would, putting them at risk of a range of long-term health conditions such as liver disease, heart disease and stroke, as well as at least eight different types of cancer including bowel and breast cancer.
“The Chief Medical Officers recommend not regularly drinking above 14 units a week, spreading the number of units you do drink over a few days and having days where you don’t drink at all.”