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Two young people receive a prescription for an opioid painkiller. They were in a car accident together and each sustained severe injuries. To treat the pain they are both given Oxycodone, a popular opioid. For one of the young people, the drug hardly works. It relieves the pain to an extent, and they don’t use the drug for the entirety of the prescription. For reasons scientists are struggling to understand, this will not be the case for the other young person. Finding relief in the analgesic effects produced by the opioid painkiller, the other young person will be inclined to abuse the drug by taking more than prescribed. Quickly, they will build a tolerance and become chemically dependent on the drug for providing pain relief and a high. What causes this difference? Many argue that genetics create a predisposition for addiction while others claim addicts are born out of a liking for drugs. It is a classic nature versus nurture problem.

opioid addiction predictable

According to research, genetics only account for half of the vulnerability to addiction. The rest of the factors contributing to what makes a person become addicted to drugs is due to their environment. “Some people seem to have subjectively very intense reactions;” says Keith Humphreys for The Daily Beast, “others seem to have muted reactions to ostensibly the same drug on first use. So that can’t be their learning history. It really cannot be anything other than the genes they brought into the world with them.”

A new test called Proove Opioid Risk might be capable of determining how much of a factor genetics will play into opioid addiction, if at all. The predictions claim to be over 90% accurate. Combining a questionnaire with a DNA test, Proove analyzes all the variants within its software system. The variants are genetic, from the mesolimbic system, The Daily Beast reports.

Currently, the methods used by Proove are not peer-reviewed, garnering criticism from the scientific community.

The global opioid epidemic has scientists around the world scrambling to find a solution. How can opioid addiction be cured? Prevented? Predicted. As time goes on, more and more technologies are developed. In between, we stay committed to using methods that are proven to work for opioid addiction recovery. Aurora Recovery Centres employs holistically based and evidence based treatment methods to provide a comprehensive program for addiction treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling from opioid addiction, call Aurora for help today at 1-844-515-STOP.