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'Rapid alcohol detox' pills sought after in Vietnam amidst new law on drunk driving

'Rapid alcohol detox' pills sought after in Vietnam amidst new law on drunk driving

Sunday, January 05, 2020, 12:02 GMT+7
'Rapid alcohol detox' pills sought after in Vietnam amidst new law on drunk driving
An attendant of a drug store in Ho Chi Minh City introduces a type of medicine that can help limit the effects of alcohol on the human body. Photo: M.H / Tuoi Tre

A type of affordable cure for drunkenness has garnered a lot of attention on social media in Vietnam after being advertised as a good way to help drinkers sober up as quickly as within 30 minutes and avoid breaking the country's new law imposing heftier fines on drunk driving.

As droves of road users have been penalized for violating Vietnam's new law on prevention and control of alcohol-related harms since the piece of legislation came into force on January 1, such a cure is believed to be handy for party-goers, if it actually works.

Multiple social media accounts have been selling the type of medicine, in form of pills or liquid, claiming that it can help people sober up with "100 percent guaranteed effectiveness."

“No matter how much you drink, you will never get drunk,” a seller boasted.

A pill costs VND10,000 (US$0.43), while the liquid form sells for VND30,000 ($1.3) a pack.

“Take it after drinking and you will become completely sober after 30 minutes. You can also take it 30 minutes before the party to avoid getting drunk,” a seller advised.

She affirmed the reliability of the products by adding that they were imported from a foreign country.

The seller, however, refused to give her address, stating that she can only have the medicine delivered to buyers’ provided addresses.

At a pharmacy in Tan Phu District in Ho Chi Minh City, a similar type of alcohol cure is offered at VND5,000 ($0.22) a pill.

However, an attendant at the drug store stated that the product can only limit the harmful effects of alcohol to a certain extent.

A man breathes into a breathalyzer to have his alcohol concentration measured. File photo: Tuoi Tre
A man breathes into a breathalyzer to have his alcohol concentration measured in this Tuoi Tre file photo.

According to local experts, people can find at local pharmacies supplements that can partially boost alcohol metabolism by supplying certain vitamins, salt, and sugar to the body.

“[However,] no medicine can help you sober up 100 percent,” they added.

In order to avoid getting drunk, people should only consume alcohol within a safe limit and refrain from drinking with an empty stomach, said Dr. Truong Thi Ngoc Lan, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Traditional Medicine Institute.

Such drinks as green tea, mung bean juice, and artichoke tea can also help remove alcohol from the body faster, Lan added.

Many other doctors believed it is best that one should not drive after consuming alcohol to ensure safety for themselves and others.

According to the new law on drunk driving, drivers must be completely sober while operating bicycles, motorbikes, automobiles, and any other vehicles on Vietnam’s roads.

Cyclists who ride under the influence of alcohol will be fined up to VND600,000 ($25) while motorcyclists and car drivers face fines of up to VND8 million ($86-345) and up to VND40 million ($1,724), respectively, as well as license revocation for 22-24 months.

The specific amount of the fine depends on the violators’ blood alcohol concentration.

Statistics from the Ministry of Public Security showed that traffic police officers had imposed fines worth a total of VND816.6 million (US$35,300) upon 615 road users for violating the regulation throughout Vietnam on January 1 and 2.

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