I didn't know quite where to put this... but since a search for this substance (bretazenil) came up w/ no results here, I decided to post this.. if not for only intellectual inquiry. This substance is not scheduled in the US; nor does it fall under the Analog Act as it's chemical skeleton is not "analogous" to any controlled drug of class I, II, or III. Below is some background information on the pharmacology of the substance & an article on it's research & development as a potential safer replacement for ethanol/alcohol.
Background on Bretazenil:
This substance is of the "imidazopyrrolobenzodiazepine" class of benzodiazepine-related GABAergics (same class as: midazolam, or "versed", a drug used as a very potent sedative & sometimes as an anesthetic in conjunction w/ other medications, usually potent opioids like fentanyl and/or general anesthetics & NMDA antagonists like Ketamine; it is also in the same class as the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil). However, it differs in its effects via several pharmacodynamic mechanisms:
First, bretazenil has more broad effects on GABA-a benzodiazepine biding sites (akin to ethanol's suspected broadly neurological action)- it acts on the GABA-a receptor subunits alpha-1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, whereas typical benzodiazepines only bind to alpha-1, 2, 3 and 5 subunits in most instances. Second, it is a partial agonist rather than a full agonist (or technically speaking, it acts as a partial "positive allosteric modulator".. which both acts like an agonist, but also modulates or changes how the related neurotransmitter acts at binding sites, compared to pure agonists--in this case GABA is the neurotransmitter at GABA-a subunits). Being a partial agonist means bretazenil likely has a ceiling effect, less adverse side effects, and higher binding affinity--meaning, it may displace other GABAergics & may precipitate withdrawal if a user is dependent on substances acting on benzodiazepine binding sites, particularly alpha-subunits, including: most all benzodiazepines, carbamates to some-degree, & likely alcohol.
It is was touted by a former United State's drug czar (of all people!?!) & professor Mr. David Nutt, as a safer alternative to alcohol as a recreational substance (as it doesn't carry the same risks of hepatic damage.. err liver damage, in plain English heh heh)... the article originally appeared in the British press, but the link is now dead, so here is the content of the article:
Here's to the beers ... will they be replaced with David Nutt's risk-free booze?
By PROFESSOR DAVID NUTT
A SUBSTANCE said to give the feeling of booze without the health risks is being developed by controversial ex Government drugs tsar Professor David Nutt. The solution is added to liquid. It is claimed anyone using it will get the alcohol high without the hangover or deadly liver damage. There is even an antidote which would allow a user to DRIVE home after taking it. Here, the scientist - recently sacked as chairman of the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after saying ecstasy is safer than alcohol - gives the reason for the innovation.
WE have been poisoning ourselves for 2,000 years. Modern science can now provide a safer way for us to have fun.
Extraordinary claims ... Professor David Nutt
I am working on a prototype of a synthetic alcohol. We can make someone feel pleasantly inebriated then reverse it.
We have a partial alternative tested on volunteers. With Government backing, the first ever synthetic alcohol could be available in three to five years.
The potential for this is enormous. It could slash Britain's binge drinking epidemic, which currently costs the NHS £3billion a year, and reduce the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning.
At the moment it is very hard to treat alcohol poisoning - medics simply have to wait for booze to clear the system.
With the new approach, they would have an antidote available immediately.
Law enforcement could even have the antidote to use on revellers who have used the solution. We could get rid of liver cirrhosis, stomach ulcers, cardiac problems and a huge number of the toxic effects.
We have worked out how alcohol affects the brain and can target these areas. We gave one volunteer a substance similar to Valium, which is a sedative.
The feeling was similar to being drunk. We then reversed this.
We have the knowledge to make a far superior synthetic alcohol. But this project is hard to progress.
Firstly, there is little external interest, perhaps because people think this idea is too radical.
Secondly, selling the substance would be difficult. It would be classified as a drug and would fall foul of drug laws.
This is why we need Government support. Alcohol manufacturers may also protest.
At the moment we don't have a sensible approach to alcohol - it's time for a discussion about safe alternatives.
You are never going to stop people enjoying a drink. But if they are going to drink, let them do it without the terrible risks of alcohol.
I believe in 25 years we could be drinking high-quality, safe alcohol.
Hopefully in the future people will raise a toast over my grave with a glass of synthetic