Scientists have invented a machine that can help people become sober about three times faster than usual.
Users are encouraged to hyperventilate themselves by breathing hard and fast in a face mask which supplies them with carbon dioxide.
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With hyperventilation they use the lungs to flush out alcohol. Breathing deeper and faster than normal eliminates carbon dioxide from the blood along with alcohol.
Scientific Reports writes that the device, developed to help patients overcome carbon monoxide poisoning or recover from anesthetics faster, was designed to help those at serious risk of alcohol poisoning. But researchers say the device could easily be used even by people who have consumed more alcohol than usual.
It was tested in an initial study, where some men were given about half a large glass of vodka. Volunteers cleared themselves of alcohol more than three times faster when using the device, compared to the body’s natural process.
Dr Joseph Fisher, of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, who led the study, said it is a basic, low-tech device that can be done anywhere. He added that it is almost inexplicable “why we did not try this decades ago”.
“This device halves the amount of alcohol in one’s body within 45 minutes, instead of the two or three hours that this process usually takes on average,” he said.