Via the Guardian, Will Storr on chemically strengthening the bond between two people by huffing from an inhaler:
According to scientists at the University of Oxford, at some point in the life of my marriage (rough estimate of about 10 years), a new breed of “love drug” might become available – a medication that could heal wounded relationships. It will likely be delivered as an inhaler and prescribed by a relationship counsellor. You’d sniff up a dose in the presence of your loved one and, as the chemical entered your bloodstream, it would strengthen your bond.
Such a drug would likely contain doses of two structurally similar hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin. Of the two, oxytocin is the more famous–sometimes known as the “cuddle chemical”, its positive role in experiences such as orgasm and childbirth seems to have led some to imagine it as an inhalable happy drug. Vasopressin has been implicated in an animal defending its babies. A combination of oxytocin and vasopressin is necessary in order for a pair bond to form.
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