From “Jilted fruit flies turn to alcohol” (ABC News, March 16, 2012), we learn,
Frustrated male fruit flies, whose sexual advances are rejected by females, turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows, a new study reveals.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have discovered that a low amount of neuropeptide F molecule in the brains of sex-starved fruit flies pushes them to drink far more than their sexually satisfied counterparts.
They go on to suggest that “A similar human molecule – neuropeptide Y – may also link social triggers to behaviours such as heavy drinking and drug abuse,” and hope to find a way to inhibit the molecule in order to cure alcoholism.
We think these researchers’ treatment idea will work way better for drying out drunk flies than humans. By the way, this story is probably not a joke. If it is, it is pretty close to normal. It shows what happens when scientists treat human problems as equivalent to those of fruit flies.
A human being’s view of his own life matters critically. Plenty of highly successful people are alcoholics. There is actually a term for this: high-functioning alcoholic. The guy gets out a lot – and gets a lot done – fuelled by booze. If neuropeptide Y got inhibited, he would just get addicted to something else via another channel, because that is his current orientation to life. That’s the part that really has to change.