As cannabis related products become more widely available across the United States, there is a growing concern about an increase in dependencies. Despite a common perception that marijuana is not addictive, there have been multiple studies that prove otherwise. And on that note, several research companies are now looking into treatment options; including prescription medications that can help people ween off of their habits.
The business site Bloomberg actually covered this latest trend, highlighting several large companies looking into cannabis addiction remedies. The U.K.-based biotech company Indivior Plc was mentioned as name investing in this research. They have already begun trials that include drug therapies for people dependent on marijuana. And this isn’t an exercise that Indivior is taking lightly. So far, they have dedicated over $30 million in funds for these efforts.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Indivior CEO Mark Crossley explained why his company is concerned about marijuana addictions. “Cannabis is the most common substance of abuse besides alcohol and tobacco, and there is no FDA-approved drug, which is concerning when you look at where cannabis use in general is headed,” he explained. “I honestly believe that the market for drugs to treat marijuana addiction will be in the multiple billions of dollars.”
Cannabis addiction data has been steadily increasing over the past decade. In fact, new research from The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that between 10 percent to 30 percent of all people who use marijuana may become addicted at some point in their lives.
And the legalized cannabis industry has been growing by leaps and bounds across the U.S. Estimates from the research company New Frontier Data claim that businesses will reach profits as high as $41.5 billion by the year 2025.
Unlike products like cigarettes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any type of drug for cannabis addiction treatment. We are all familiar with products like Nicorette, which help to curb smoking habits. Currently, marijuana has no such combatant.
In regards to progress, Crossley added that Indivior still needs additional funding to cover some of the later stage trials of their drug. At the rate they’re going, he predicts that their product would hit the market in the next five to six years.
And as far as its methods go, all Indivior was ready to reveal at this point was that their drug targets the brain receptor that is affected by cannabis’ psychoactive ingredients. We will certainly be following this progress, in the hopes that marijuana addiction gets the increased attention that it deserves.