They say crisis breeds opportunity...
And today, in the U.S., there are few crises more urgent than the opioid epidemic.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), every day, more than 115 people in the U.S. die after overdosing on opioids. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year. This includes the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Of course, this isn't only about numbers and statistics. It's also about actual people who are affected by this epidemic. And make no mistake, that's exactly what this is...
Take Huntington, West Virginia, for instance. There, 20% of the population is addicted to drugs.
In 2017, 1,831 overdoses were reported in Huntington. That's an increase of more than 600 from 2016. And last year, one resident of Huntington died every 10 hours from an overdose. It's so bad there that one late afternoon in August, paramedics responded to 25 overdose calls within a three-hour period.
But this crisis isn't unique to Huntington. It's playing out all across the country. In fact, opioids now kill more Americans than guns and automobile accidents combined.
This certainly describes a perfect crisis situation. But the good news is that $17 billion in government funds was recently allocated to fight this serious problem. And it's already producing positive, lifesaving results...
Crisis Breeds Opportunity
As I mentioned earlier, crisis breeds opportunity.
In the case of the opioid epidemic, the crisis is clear. And now, the solution is, too.
With the opioid crisis declared a national emergency, the power of the free market has come to the rescue. And it's delivering solutions to the three biggest challenges of this epidemic:
- An overdose antidote.
- A safe, nonaddictive pain reliever to replace opioids.
Today, many companies, both public and private, are bringing these solutions to the market. And make no mistake, investors who get a piece of this action today will do quite well over the course of the next few years.
Here are three that you should know right now:
- Chrono Therapeutics — This company is developing a transdermal patch to help those who are trying to kick their opioid addictions.
- SPR Therapeutics — This company is developing a non-opioid pain-relief therapy that uses low electrical pulses to stimulate nerves to relieve chronic pain.
- Braeburn Pharmaceuticals — This company is developing an implant that provides steady, low doses of buprenorphine, which isn't an opioid but produces similar effects.
Fighting Opioid Addiction With Cannabis
Now that it's legal in Canada and in many parts of the U.S., cannabis is also offering an alternative to opioids. And the early results are promising.
Some of the biggest cannabis players in the space, and the ones you should know, include…
- Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED)
- The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD)
- Aphria, Inc. (TSX: APH)
- OrganiGram Holdings (TSX: OGI)
- Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB)
The great thing about investing in cannabis-based solutions to the opioid crisis is that many of these companies are public. And they're not pharmaceutical companies, either. So, they don't have to deal with the costly and unpredictable way that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves and doesn't approve new therapies.
Of course, this is only a brief rundown of the opioid crisis and some of the potential solutions that could help investors make a lot of money. There's much more to this story. And over the coming weeks and months, you'll learn a lot more about how to profit from what could be one of the most profitable opportunities of the 21st century.