Genetics are making their way into every facet of research nowadays, and addiction treatment is no slouch in that area.
If you haven’t heard of pharmacogenomics yet, you are sure to soon. The idea that medications affect individuals differently based on their unique genetic makeup has picked up a lot of steam in the last few years.
Well, the same way of thinking is beginning to emerge in addiction treatment.
Just as the latter (pharmacogenomics) is said to greatly increase the usability of certain drugs while reducing the worse side effects, so is the use of genetics in addiction treatment purported to bring more personalized, effective treatment to patients.
In a recent congressional hearing, Dr. Nora Volkow, the head of the federal agency entrusted with advancing addiction research, NIDA, told congress that about 75% of a person’s inclination to begin smoking, 60% of one’s tendency to become addicted, and about 54% of a person’s ability to quit were genetically determined.
Wow, those are some sobering numbers…