Love and other drugs: A cupid but in the form of pills soon reality

Express press service

Swallow this. There are new pills on the horizon that can make you fall in love or dive deep into the recesses of your heart. According to Dr Anna Machin, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford, UK, they are expected to hit the market within the next three to five years and can be prescribed to struggling couples. Despite ethical concerns, the pill will soon be a reality, she said during a speech at the Cheltenham Science Festival recently. Called “love drugs”, it is a new frontier in bioengineering.

When all else fails, a love pill helps. The elixir of love and intimacy would begin to work within
five minutes of blast, releasing a wave of positive emotions and the nervous excitement you may have felt when falling in love the first time.

Love-inducing drugs mimic natural chemicals found in the brain. These compounds are responsible for that intoxicating rush of love you feel when you fall head over heels in love with someone. Four main neurotransmitters are involved in creating this exhilarating sensation: epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Epinephrine creates feelings of attraction, norepinephrine and dopamine promote emotions of pleasure, while serotonin is responsible for attachment. Besides these, there is oxytocin, the hormone responsible for security, testosterone and estrogen which ignite lust, in addition but not limited to beta-endorphin which promotes confidence and empathy. The love drug synthetically replicates the same functions, says Gurugram-based psychiatrist Bhawana Satija.

A word of warning. With the promise of love drugs comes peril. “Love pills, like any other, have a shelf life. Positive feelings only last until the dose flows through your veins, according to Machin. This is problematic on two levels. Drug-induced emotional peaks and troughs can make you addicted before you know it.Secondly, it removes the need for the “inside work” required to re-establish compatibility, without which no relationship can last long term. When the drug is doing the work for you, you may not be motivated to break unhealthy behaviors,” says Satija, who believes that while the new love drug has its rightful place on the shelf, it risks becoming just another mood-enhancer.

The other danger for consumers is the possibility of ‘pathologizing’ relationship issues by pharmaceutical companies who are known to ‘invent’ diseases to sell their drugs. “The marketing of a new drug begins a decade before (sometimes less) arriving on the market. Because it is illegal to promote it before then, pharmaceutical companies are creating a sense of urgency regarding the need for a new treatment protocol,” says Dr Dhawal Parekh, an internal medicine specialist based in Mumbai.

That said, illegal psychoactive substances or love drugs are a part of our lives, but newer and improved versions, and especially those available legally and commercially, promise to propel you out of the relationship blues and into greener pastures.

The drugs mimic the natural chemicals found in the brain that are responsible for that love rush you feel when you fall in love with someone.

Advantages and disadvantages of the love drug

Advantages
✥ Fast acting
✥ Convenient

The inconvenients
✥ Affect fades after a while
✥ Can suppress emotions
✥ May not be regulated, causing safety and efficacy issues

When all else fails, a love pill helps. The elixir of love and intimacy would begin to work within
five minutes of blast, releasing a wave of positive emotions and the nervous excitement you may have felt when falling in love the first time.

Love-inducing drugs mimic natural chemicals found in the brain. These compounds are responsible for that intoxicating rush of love you feel when you fall head over heels in love with someone. Four main neurotransmitters are involved in creating this exhilarating sensation: epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Epinephrine creates feelings of attraction, norepinephrine and dopamine promote emotions of pleasure, while serotonin is responsible for attachment. Besides these, there is oxytocin, the hormone responsible for security, testosterone and estrogen which ignite lust, in addition but not limited to beta-endorphin which promotes confidence and empathy. The love drug synthetically replicates the same functions, says Gurugram-based psychiatrist Bhawana Satija.

A word of warning. With the promise of love drugs comes peril. “Love pills, like any other, have a shelf life. Positive feelings only last until the dose runs through your veins, according to Machin. This is problematic on two levels. First, the highs and the frequent drug-induced emotional lows can make you addicted before you know it.Secondly, it removes the need for the “inside work” required to re-establish compatibility, without which no relationship can last long. When the drug is doing the work for you, you may not be motivated to break unhealthy behaviors,” says Satija, who believes that while the new love drug has its rightful place on the shelf, it risks becoming just another mood-enhancer.

The other danger for consumers is the possibility of ‘pathologizing’ relationship issues by pharmaceutical companies who are known to ‘invent’ diseases to sell their drugs. “The marketing of a new drug begins a decade before (sometimes less) arriving on the market. Because it is illegal to promote it before then, pharmaceutical companies are creating a sense of urgency regarding the need for a new treatment protocol,” says Dr Dhawal Parekh, an internal medicine specialist based in Mumbai.

That said, illegal psychoactive substances or love drugs are a part of our lives, but newer and improved versions, and especially those available legally and commercially, promise to propel you out of the relationship blues and into greener pastures.

The drugs mimic the natural chemicals found in the brain that are responsible for that love rush you feel when you fall in love with someone.

Advantages and disadvantages of the love drug

Advantages
✥ Fast acting
✥ Practical

The inconvenients
✥ Affect fades after a while
✥ Can suppress emotions
✥ May not be regulated, causing safety and efficacy issues

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