September 23, 2016 7:46 AM EDT

A British researcher says he has discovered a synthetic alcohol which allows drinkers to enjoy the sensation of being drunk without the negative side effects that usually follow.

David Nutt, a professor at Imperial College in London and former drugs advisor to the British government, says the non-toxic ‘alcosynth’ could completely replace normal alcohol by 2050, the U.K.’s Independent reports.

Alcosynth affects the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Nutt says, but doesn’t cause mouth dryness, nausea, headaches or other long lasting health issues. “We know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them. And by not touching the bad areas, we don’t have the bad effects,” Mr Nutt, who is currently testing two versions of the drink for widespread use, told the newspaper.

If alcosynth does what Nutt says it does, it could relieve public health services from the burden of alcohol-related issues. The cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the U.S. was as high as $223.5 billion in 2006, according to CDC figures, which researchers estimated worked out as $746 for every individual U.S. citizen that same year.


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