Les tests génétiques seraient-ils la solution à la crise des opioïdes? (article anglais)

LifeKit Predict analyzes a patient’s genetic makeup and says it can determine how likely they are to become addicted to opioids–before they’re even prescribed painkillers.

A familiar narrative of the opioid crisis that’s been raging in the U.S. for nearly a decade goes something like this: A patient comes to the hospital seeking treatment and relief from the pain of a recent injury (in many well-known stories, this patient is a student athlete). Their issue is addressed, and they’re prescribed something to manage the pain–often OxyContin or Vicodin.

The drugs dull the pain, but once the pain is gone, a subset of patients keep popping the pills, not out of necessity, but because they’ve become dependent on them. These commonly prescribed painkillers are opioids, and produce a euphoric high that mirrors the sensation of their illegal counterparts, heroin and fentanyl, which patients often turn to after their prescriptions run out. Opioid overdoses are now the most common cause of death in Americans under the age of 50; 64,000 people died from the drugs last year alone.