All right, I know it's August and Ibiza is a party and here's
someone whinging about alcohol abuse.
Well, I thought, why
not give you something to read while you've a hangover?
sober days I'm thrilled to see someone like that, especially if they've fallen
over and banged their head on the way to the finca from Es Paradis.
- if you can keep your hands steady while you go for the all-day breakfast (with
pictures of it outside the bar) - here goes. (I recommend the addition of a fat,
red Ibicencan sobrasada sausage by the way, even though writing about it usually
means Gary has to correct my spelling).
By the way, the
other day I found a website from where you can actually email someone a free postcard
of one of these breakfast concoctions. But I'll spare you that, unless you really,
really want to see one, in which case send an email and I'll whistle up a greasy
pan for you.
I thought, though I'm not really sure why,
that as you siesta you might like to know a bit more about the drug called Antabuse
that George Best made famous more Champagne years ago than I can remember.
the idea: you take a tablet every day and if you give in and have a drink it makes
you violently ill.
Of course you can cheat by planning
ahead and just not keep on taking the tablets.
are ways round that, too. Any doctor can actually stop her or his patient drinking.
GP has an American patient who has to go and see her every day at 10am and she
has ready a glass of water and she actually watches as she swallows her gut-wrenching
pill. It's worked so far, though she says that after a month she'll just have
to trust her and say bye-bye, Miss American Highball.
no joined-together effort to stop heavy drinkers in the UK. Doing something about
Drugs, or condemnation of them, are the vote-winners, as Tony Blair showed at
the election by never, ever mentioning drinking. E stood for re-Election.
get back. Antabuse was discovered by accident in Denmark during the Second World
War when Dr. Jens Hald was researching a treatment for intestinal worms.
chemical called disulfiram had been successfully used to treat scabies (don't
even ask how they figured that one out).
Like a good doctor,
he took the tablet every day himself along with his colleague Dr. Erik Jacobsen,
to ensure it did no harm to humans (there's a nice phrase) and I wonder how many
researchers would be prepared to still employ that tactic. Not that they had worms,
of course, intestinal or otherwise. They were just testing that they didn't sprout
hair on their foreheads or somewhere.
Usually they felt
fine, but some days they were both violently ill and they suddenly realised it
was when they had been for a drink together.
They were doctors, not alcoholics,
or people on holiday in San Antonio, so they didn't drink EVERY day.
tried it out on volunteers and I would have been a volunteer if I'd been there
and known about it and they all reacted the same way, so they dropped their research.
it never struck them that they had found something worthwhile. That was down to
a journalist who heard Dr. Jacobsen telling the story as a joke at a meeting of
drug doctors in 1947. A lot of good alcoholics were born that year.
reporter from the Copenhagen newspaper Berlingske Tidende was there and did the
story and the good doctor was flooded with requests from people with drink problems
who had been trying to stop on their own.
You see, there
are alcoholics like that who will try anything to save their lives.
idea is that even alcoholics like George Best would have to think twice before
taking a drink after popping the pill, which is OK, so long as he did and you
are and you do.
A quick technical note: Antabuse works
by blocking the enzyme that converts acetaldehyde which you get from the alcohol
and gets it out of your system, which means it builds up and makes you feel violently
unpleasant. It's a condition called acetaldehydemia; a hangover that won't quit.
A heavy duty one. (My spell-checker says that's a short sentence and I think it's
Just one drink will do and you are up for the full
vomiting, laboured breathing, flushing, sweating, chest pains, throbbing headache
and all that, it says here in a new paperback about food and drink intolerance
called "Was It Something You Ate?" by John Emsley and Peter Fell,
£7.99 (Oxford University Press: www.oup.com).
you blamed it on the fish stew at Cala Tarida yesterday lunchtime!
also give some tips for ordinary drinkers who've had too much (or are planning
What you are trying to do is to delay the absorption
of alcohol when you start drinking and alleviate the symptoms of that there acetaldehydemia
when you are recovering by the pool.
Because unlike me
you are not a founder member of Can't Drink Won't Drink, here are their guidelines:
a glass of milk before you start drinking
STICK to one
type of alcohol and occasionally have a soft drink
a pint of water before going to bed
EAT something sweet
for breakfast, such as honey or jam with your sobrasada
drinks such as sherry
Personally I think that idea about
a pint of water before going to bed would be a bit like
Well, I'll let you
laze on the beach and think about that.