Finding roots to drug crisis

Toledo Blade | Editorial Board

Ohio could be at the forefront of research on opioid abuse with a newly announced study to determine which genetic markers make people susceptible to opioid addiction. It could produce monumental results to help curb future addiction problems.

The two-pronged, $1.6 million study, funded from litigation settlements from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, is to start in January and use results from 1,500 emergency room patients at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University medical centers.

The plan is to seek permission from the patients, who will not be identified in the study, to take cheek swabs, and then test those for 180 genetic markers to examine whether there is a link between some markers and substance abuse disorder. Patients will be asked about their health history and other related factors…

“We want to know why two people can take the same drug in the same dosage and only one becomes addicted,” Mr. Yost said.

One purpose of the clinical study is to develop an addiction risk score, which will better identify a patient’s likelihood for future opioid use disorder.

Read the full editorial here.