New DNA Test Can Identify People Predisposed To Opioid Addiction

dna_soberA biotech company says it has a new DNA test that can identify patients who are genetically predisposed to opioid addiction. The company is Proove Bioscience in Irvine, California. They’ve developed a DNA test that accesses samples via cheek-swab, then compares the data from the results to a the patient’s answers on a questionnaire. The results, Proove says, will identify the patients’ risk of become addicted to the opioids prescribed to them, according to CBS News.

Opioid addiction has grown to epidemic proportions. Nearly 2 million people were addicted to pain medication in 2014. Nearly 19,000 people died from overdoses of narcotic pain medications, says the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, sent a letter to 2.3 million healthcare providers outlining the problem and soliciting their help in gaining control over the problem. More people are dying from drug overdoses than ever before and 60 percent of those deaths are from opioids. Due to accidents, injuries and serious illnesses, there are times when the prescription of opioid pain medications are required. Unfortunately, however, physicians are unable to determine which of their patients are more at risk for addiction. The patients have no way of knowing whether they themselves are genetically predisposed to addiction.

Enter Proove Bioscience and its new technology. Their new testing is promising in that it could have a significant impact on the numbers of addicted patients and overdoses. CBS Los Angeles spoke with a patient who was recently tested at a doctor’s appointment. Su Henriquez was eager to receive her results. The findings indicated she has a low pain tolerance and is at moderate risk of becoming dependent on opioid pain medications. She was disappointed in her results because she has seen her mother’s addiction issues firsthand. Now she knows that because she is predisposed to addiction, her mother’s history could easily be her future. Read more…

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