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Alcohol Regurgitator

Implantable Device to Stop Alcoholics from Drinking
  (+3, -8)(+3, -8)
(+3, -8)
  [vote for,
against]

I know there have been some far-fetched alcohol-stoppers in the half-bakery, but give this one a thought.

Another multiple offense drunk-driver was picked up in Minnesota last night. The same details as thousands of other repeat alcoholics across the country. Just out of jail (supervised) after 6 years in prison for a drinking-related crime. Drunk and driving a stolen car in a car-chase with police. Obviously this guy can't control himself. Let's help him before he kills someone.

The Alcohol Regurgitor would be a pacemaker like device that attaches to the stomach in the same way that recent obesity pacemakers do. Instead of applying gentle currents to fool the body into thinking the stomach was full, it would use more extreme measures to induce vomiting in the subject.

Implanted inside the body, the device would monitor blood alcohol levels. Above a certain very-low threshold (to allow the consumption of some medications / don't want mouthwash to set it off), the device induces repeated vomiting every 5 minutes or so until blood alcohol levels drop.

An alcoholic could get a drink or two down the gullet, but would soon find themselves vomiting up their guts. If they tried to slam a bunch of drink, they would be sick for hours - unable to drive until the alcohol level dropped. It would deter them from drinking again, and keep everyone on the roads safe.

I would implant this in anyone with multiple DUI arrests, especially when they have been involved in a chase or hurt someone.

trekbody, Dec 09 2005

Where there's a will... http://members.aol....ldRope/etohenma.htm
[ConsulFlaminicus, Dec 11 2005]

Disulfiram information http://www.healthyp...ions/disulfiram.htm
This is some nasty stuff! [trekbody, Dec 13 2005]

[link]






       Do we have any laws on the books yet that require surgical implants? I think this falls foul of the "cruel and unusual" thingy.   

       And if you did do it as a voluntary procedure, I still think you have problems with all the foods and medicines that contain alcohol.
DrCurry, Dec 09 2005
  

       Antabuse accomplishes the same thing, without surgery.
Shz, Dec 09 2005
  

       And does vomiting lower the BAC? It seems like once the alky-hol is in your blood it is there until your internal filters get it out. So rather than measure BAC perhaps it would measure the alcohol content of the specific thing you are consuming.
PollyNo9, Dec 09 2005
  

       Polly, if you have just drank the stuff, you can puke it out. It's when it gets into the intestine when you gotta wait for the liver to work it's magic.
daseva, Dec 09 2005
  

       Yeah, if you just drank the stuff. But for one to even have a BAC they have to give the alcohol time to get into their blood. In this time ( I am not sure of how long it is, probably not very long) a person could drink however much they wanted, until the alcohol is metabolized and the device makes you throw up. Then, sure no more drinking, but even 5 minutes is enough time to drink alot, if you know that is all the time you have.
PollyNo9, Dec 10 2005
  

       //An alcoholic could get a drink or two down the gullet, but would soon find themselves vomiting up their guts//   

       Par for the course anyway. Bartender! Another round!
Letsbuildafort, Dec 10 2005
  

       Nope, not a good idea. After all there are allready lots of pills that make you so sick when you drink you never want another.
zeno, Dec 10 2005
  

       Another pill?
Texticle, Dec 10 2005
  

       Alcohol is directly absorbed by the stomach--no time for implant calculations--gotta get on this quick! <rummages through cupboard for ipecac syrup> 20 minutes! damn. <spies end of toothbrush> Thank god my dentist is on retainer. heh, retainer.   

       Why not just have a blood filtering uber-liver implant? After a while, the lack of buzz would make alcohol pointless--sans the major system abuse from vomiting.
Zuzu, Dec 10 2005
  

       I think this Idea can be tweaked to answer its critics.   BfUiNsh
reensure, Dec 10 2005
  

       To answer one of the first questions - you could make it a voluntary option instead of jail time - I mean, you balk at the idea of manditory surgery to cure the problem, but that posits that manditory jail time is better. If jail can't help alcoholics - what is the point - punishment - I would rather offer something that could actually help them. As for pills - I'm not familiar with those - have to read up, but do alcoholics actually take them?
trekbody, Dec 12 2005
  

       Secondly, Shz stated - Antabuse accomplishes the same thing, without surgery.   

       A cursory look on the internet revealed that you can have some pretty hard-core reactions to Antabuse, and it is not known to be safe for pregnant women. Seems pretty harsh - I wonder why everyone has this viceral reaction - "YOU CAN'T IMPLANT THINGS IN PEOPLE'S BODIES AGAINST THEIR WILL" when we are injecting things in their bodies against their will that becomes poison in the presence of another substance. Don't you think a permanent device would be more humane than subjecting a person to permanent "treatment" with drugs? And again - you have to get the alcoholic to take the pill - pitted against some of the points above that the alcoholic would find a way to absorb alcohol anyway, don't you think it more likely that they would find a way not to absorb the pill?
trekbody, Dec 13 2005
  

       PollyNo9 brings up the point that vomiting does not lower Blood Alcohol Levels - definitely not, but being violently ill until BAL were lowered might reduce the ability for most alcoholics to operate a vehicle, at least until they sobered up. Again, my point against some of the arguments above, if the device did not react until your blood alcohol rises above a certain point - (0.05) less than the legal limit in most states - it might allow you to have one drink, or eat food with a touch of alcohol, or take medicines with alcohol without the vomiting - this is something Antabuse does not allow.
trekbody, Dec 13 2005
  

       Here's the technical bit from someone who knows: it takes about 30 minutes for about 90% of alcohol consumed on an empty stomach to hit the bloodstream; up to 2 hours on a full stomach. Alcohol is not absorbed in the stomach at all, but is almost immediately absorbed when it hits the upper small intestine, i.e. rate of alcohol absorption is equal to rate of gastic emptying as the stomach's contents are being gradually digested. So causing vomiting when the BAC of the patient is at a certain level is going to cut them off at nearly exactly that BAC. They could drink more, but never get more intoxicated, because as soon as the stomach started emptying, their BAC would rise and the device would kick the alcohol out again.   

       It's a pretty gross way of going about it, but if nothing else works...
Agamemnon, Apr 05 2006
  
      
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