An expert believes that ‘love drugs’ that could help people find love, or keep couples loved up during difficult times, are ‘on the horizon’.
Drugs that contain a dose of oxytocin - dubbed the ‘cuddle hormone’ - or even small amounts of MDMA could be sold to help people feel more receptible to love or to keep the spark going in long term relationships.
Anthropologist Dr Anna Machin, of Oxford University, has explained that some drugs help to replicate the effect of falling in love on the brain and that so-called ‘love drugs’ could be available in the future.
Speaking during the Cheltenham Science Festival, she said: “There are lots of ethical questions… but love drugs are certainly on the horizon.”
Dr Machin went on: “We know enough now about the neurochemistry of love to probably suggest some things you could take to enhance your abilities to find love – or to increase the possibility that you will stay in love when it’s getting a little bit tricky.”
So theoretically, in the not-too distant future, if you’ve forgotten to put the bins out (again) and your partner is less than happy, simply tell her to pop a little love pill and Bob’s your uncle. Sounds good to me.
And Dr Machin believes, if administered correctly, oxytocin could give a real boost for those looking for love, too. She said: “It could help people become more confident when dating and help them fall in love.”
The good doctor also believes it could be a money spinner in the commercial drugs market, adding: “And certainly one of the frontiers of love research commercially – can you imagine how much money you make? – is in exploring these possible love drugs.”
The idea of popping a ‘love potion’ might seem like something from a fairy tale, but Dr Machin believes there’s a strong chance they’ll be available within the next ten years.
She said: “Oxytocin could be available within a decade for people to squirt up their nose before they go out on a Saturday night – at the same time as a glass of prosecco.”
However, it may take a little longer to get MDMA-based drugs on shelves due to the ‘ethical questions’ surrounding the drug.
She added: “There are more ethical questions surrounding MDMA so that is likely to take longer.”