Synthehol, F*** Yeah!

Synthetic alcohol based on chemicals in Valium, non-addictive, and with antidote for rapid switch-off of the intoxication?   New Orleans might never be the same.   But at least Ten-Forward just got a lot more plausible.


Anonymous said...

I personally have always wondered how Seven of Nine managed to get drunk on synthehol at one stage (can't remember the episode) when Data specifically said that synthehol did not cause intoxication in Relics...

Author said...

"[Synthehol] is an alcohol substitute now being served aboard starships. It simulates the appearance, taste and smell of alcohol, but the intoxicating effects can be easily dismissed."

That's not a failure to intoxicate, but merely intoxication that can be "easily dismissed" in some manner. I've always viewed that to mean a ready antidote or natural adrenal-release nullification (e.g. red alert adrenaline kick) or somehow being able to 'walk it off'.

One could also presume based on the phrasing that a drinker can simply choose to ignore the effect somehow, but that always seemed unsatisfying to me, since it seemed as if getting drunk would require too much conscious effort.

The antidote theory is supported by "Timeless"[VOY], when the Doc suggests a hypo to Seven of Nine to counteract the synthehol in her bloodstream. However, Seven's unusual susceptibility to synthehol is a Borg-specific problem, as confirmed in "Body and Soul", though "Someone to Watch Over Me" suggests that Borg nanoprobes can be used to defeat synthehol as well.

"Someone to Watch Over Me" also suggests there are natural enzymes that break down synthehol in most species. But, this may have little to do with respect to the intoxicating effects . . . after all, our bodies can process alcohol, but that doesn't make it any less fun/stupid.

So I choose to believe it'll get you drunk like alcohol but you can walk it off or snap out of it with adrenaline, or if necessary a hypo can fix you up if you're in the bottle way too deep.