Drug abuse has been a matter of concern for individuals and policymakers across the United States. Over the past few years, the number of individuals falling trapped in the habit of addiction has incredibly risen. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately one in four young adults aged 18 to 25 were the current users of illicit drugs in 2016.
With eight states and the District of Columbia having legalized recreational marijuana in the country, the problem of drug abuse has become more pronounced than before. The above-mentioned NSDUH report stated that around 7.2 percent of young adults aged 26 or older used marijuana in 2016. In the light of the above statistics that has emerged as an alarm for the authorities, Mike Lynn, the co-founder and CEO of Hound Labs, is planning to come up with breathalyzers for pot that would be an equivalent to alcohol breathalyzers. Hound Labs, a start-up established in 2014, received a funding of around $14 million, including $8.1 million from Benchmark Capital.
Marijuana analyzers to make detection of its abuse easier
Marijuana breathalyzers are a notch up than alcohol breathalyzers, making it easier to detect an abuse. Generally, the breath levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, are comparatively lower than alcohol. Until now, it has usually involved large and expensive instruments. As such, it is quite difficult to accurately distinguish recent marijuana abuse from that of marijuana used yesterday or last week. This is because THC present in marijuana gets stored in the body fat. This, in turn, elongates its stay in saliva by days and in blood and urine by weeks.
Since most of the American states (including California) need to prove an individual’s impairment to prosecute him or her for driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to have a device that can help in identifying marijuana abuse by an individual. The new device by Hound Labs will just take a few minutes to objectively analyze the breath levels and display a yes or no reading for the presence of marijuana.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aligns the development of two to three hours of impairment after abusing marijuana with the duration of time when the drug’s chemical can be detected in an individual’s breath. What’s interesting about this device is that it can work on individuals even if they had been consuming cannabis in food. The only problem with the device is that it just takes a little longer to detect the drug.
Apart from Hound Labs, many companies that are already developing and delivering alcohol breathalyzers are now in the race of developing marijuana breathalyzers, such as Canadian-based Cannabix Technologies and Colorado-based Lifeloc Technologies. Besides these companies, universities like Washington State University have a project on creating marijuana breathalyzers. Most of these institutions are on the verge of completing the clinical trials of marijuana breathalyzers.
Road to recovery
The accuracy of the new marijuana breathalyzers by Hound Labs can be judged only once they are ready for breath analysis. Until then, there will only be claims and rumors all around about the product. However, it is important here to understand the level at which marijuana is being abused in the country, which is so high to cause the need of developing breathalyzers. Therefore, it becomes every individual’s responsibility to curb this issue and help in developing a healthy nation.
The treatment for marijuana addiction is possible. If you know someone who is addicted to marijuana or any other form of drug, the California Drug Abuse Help can assist him or her in connecting with the best drug rehab centers in California. Call our 24/7 drug rehab centers helpline 855-980-1946 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the best treatment facilities in your vicinity.