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Drink lightly: RU-21 can't prevent inebriation

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During the Cold War, Russian scientists tried to develop a pill that kept their spies from getting drunk. They failed in that, but their supplement did reduce hangovers.

In 1999, RU-21 became available to consumers in Russia, and it became available in the U.S. in 2003. It works by helping the body break down a toxic byproduct of alcohol into water and carbon dioxide.

Some things you should know about the use of RU-21:

* It does not prevent drunkenness from drinking alcohol.

* It must not be counted on to prevent health consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.

* It does not increase the ability to operate a vehicle while intoxicated.

Clinical studies on RU-21 are limited. The exception is a recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. It says the HPF Hangover Prevention Formula reduced some but not all hangover symptoms.

Not overdoing it is the surest way to avoid hangovers. If do you indulge, be sure to drink on a full stomach and drink lots of water before going to sleep. There is also some evidence that lighter drinks with fewer toxic elements such as highly filtered vodkas versus darker bourbons and Scotches produce fewer symptoms.

If you will be attending a function where alcoholic drinks are served, plan ahead to have a designated driver in your group.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 30 minutes in the U.S. An alcohol-related traffic injury occurs every two minutes (in 2002).

During the holiday season, be very careful not to become part of these statistics.

Long Island Safety Articles > Drink lightly: RU-21 can't prevent inebriation

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