Genetics of Opioid dependence

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Opioid dependence


What is Opioid dependence?

Opioid dependence is a condition where a person becomes used to prescription medication in their system such as morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Over time, the person needs more and more of the drug to feel the same effects. If they try to stop taking the drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. Opioid dependence can lead to addiction and other health problems.


How was the research done?

This study aims to identify populations of individuals who have used opioids. The study will focus on individuals taking chronic opiates and individuals who have had short-term opiate use. The researchers will develop a risk score for opioid adverse events (OAEs), which include nausea, vomiting, respiratory arrest, and others. This will include diseases, traits, and medication features associated with opiate use. The study will identify predictors of long-term opioid use and OAEs. They will evaluate the risk scores from the OAEs to see if there are any connections. The study aims to improve our understanding of what contributes to opiate use and adverse events.


What is the importance of this study?

The misuse and abuse of opioids is a serious issue in America. Opioid use varies by geography, urban/rural differences, socioeconomics, sex, age, and more. This research can help identify actionable targets for prevention and intervention. Which will also improve our understanding of opioid dependence.