How Scientists Are Trying to Fight the Opiate Epidemic

There are many theories out there about drug addiction, whether you believe it is due to a moral corruption or believe it is an illness, there is no denying that America is in the midst of an opiate epidemic. There are people on the ground trying to help those struggling but without hard scientific “fixes” all we can hope is that the body count won’t continue to rise.

Preventative Testing

Proove is a simple DNA and genetic information cheek swab test that is analyzed in combination with clinical assessments from the patient to evaluate pain tolerance, assess drug metabolism, predict responses and risks to opioid and non-opioid pain medications, and identify the level of predisposition for opioid dependence. Knowing a patient’s genetic makeup goes a long way in preventing opioid addiction. However, this is only a preventative test, there are still thousands of opioid addicts that need help recovering.

Post-Mortem Brain Study

By performing a post-mortem study of the brains of heroin abusers, researchers determined that the longer heroin is used, the more changes happen to the shape and form of DNA in parts of the brain associated with drug addiction. The DNA becomes overactive and likely to mutate.

The study also showed the structural alteration of a user’s DNA is inversely related to heroin overdoses, meaning the mechanisms of overdose are different from those of addiction. This research is still ongoing, but the researchers hope their work will lead to a way of undoing the damage heroin does to addict’s brains.

There has been significant data that part of chromosome 17 in your genes, as well as environmental factors (these also alter your DNA), are linked to an increased risk of opioid abuse and dependency. Ultimately, it all starts with a choice to use the drugs.

To learn more about our DNA testing services, contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City today.

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