NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – An experimental drug could stop people from getting drunk off alcohol and thus helping heavy drinkers wean off alcohol.

Yale University researchers are hypothesizing that the drug iomazenil, when taken before drinking, can weaken some of the effects of alcohol on the brain. According to a recent pilot study conducted by the researchers, the effects of alcohol on those people who took iomazenil caused people to stay sober for longer.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the researchers hope to develop a “stay-sober” pill from iomazenil. The project is examining what the effect of the drug is on alcohol intoxication and how volunteer drunk drivers are affected while driving, if they ingest the pill before drinking.

“A medication that has the potential to block alcohol actions in the central nervous system could act as a unique medication in the treatment of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism,” Yale researcher Deepak D’Souza told the Daily Telegraph. “Alcohol is abused commonly but there is no remedy for alcohol intoxication.”

Researchers hope the drug will help reduce the amount of damage done to the liver from alcohol.

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