A 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.