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Alcohol consumption has been a common practice in many countries across the world. Easy availability, less government restriction and authorized manufacturing have however led to an increase in alcohol addiction. According to World Health Organization, more than 3 million deaths are recorded due to over consumption of alcohol every year. Alcohol addiction is also increasing steadily among women and teenagers because of the changing life style and low regulation on sale of alcohol to minors. Various research studies have found that more than 50 disorders are linked to alcohol over consumption. Some of these include cancer, liver cirrhosis, dementia, depression, and immune suppression. Liver damage and immune suppression remain the most common health hazards of alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction has been a burning issue in many countries pressurising governments to take serious measures to curb the crises. Increased subsidies, import duties, high pricing, imposing age limit are some of the measures adopted by governments to limit alcohol abuse.
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Research activities aiming to control alcohol addiction have shown promising results in the recent past. Pharmaceutical companies have launched drugs to control alcohol craving, thus reducing alcohol consumption. Disulfiram is one of the oldest drugs available in the market which inhibits the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, thus causing unpleasant reaction post alcohol consumption; generic form of this drug is available in the market. Lundbeck received approval for Selincro (nalmefene) to market in Europe in year 2013. Revia (naltrexone) by Bristol-Myers Squibb is another U.S. FDA approved drug in the market. Off label anti depressants and also prescribe to patients to help reduce alcohol dependence.
Europe leads the alcohol addiction market owing to higher incidences of alcohol abuse, especially in United Kingdom. Liver cirrhosis accounts for around 2% of all the deaths in European countries according to World Health Organization (WHO); while around 1.5% of the all deaths are due to alcohol consumption in England and Wales according to statistics published in Office National Statistics, U.K. Alcohol consumption also remains the biggest cause of liver disorders worldwide. In the U.S. more than 30,000 deaths are caused due to liver cirrhosis, majority of which are a cause of alcohol consumption. Asia Pacific has the highest population density owing to India and China which are the most populated countries in the world. Alcohol abuse in these countries is increasing rapidly because of changing life style, increasing disposable income and higher young population in India. Alcohol is also a predisposing factor for cancer of mouth, larynx, liver, and colon. These factors will be the main drivers for the global alcohol addiction market.
Market for alcohol de-addiction however will be restricted due to weak research pipeline. Without consistent research, no new products will be added to the market leading to senescence. Alcohol de-addiction has a large conventional market in the form of various unani medicine and control techniques. Low resistance to overcome addiction is the root cause of alcohol addiction worldwide, this leads to inconsistency in treatment. Reduced awareness of the available drug therapy for alcohol de-addiction, especially in developing and under developed countries is also a main cause of restricted market growth. Availability of cost effective substitutes such as psycho therapy, counseling and traditional cold turkey de-addiction methods also affect the marked growth. In India, alcohol addicts mostly prefer cultural de-addiction methods such as ayurveda and homeopathy. Thus availability of various substitutes for alcohol de-addiction is also a major cause restraining the market growth. Key players in the market include Psychotropics India, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Lundbeck, Inc.
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