A local doctor is offering his patients a DNA test he believes can possibly prevent addiction and save lives.
Dr. Damon Kimes is a pain and addiction specialist at Roswell Pain Specialist and said the test is a genetic profile he said indicates whether a person is likely to become addicted to opioid painkillers.
“People often do not know what their genetics hold,” said Dr. Kimes. “What we will be able to do is look at opioid at risk index, we are going to be able to look at specific medications and how your body metabolizes or breaks down those medications.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 percent of people who used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers.
The results of the genetic profile are available in three to seven days and the test can identify whether a patient’s risk of addiction is low, moderate or high.
If the results show that a patient is at high risk to become addicted to Oxycontin for example, doctors can prescribe non-opioid painkillers, limit the patient’s exposure to opioids or other procedures.
“When you have that genetic DNA test right there look at it and you can say this is in your genetic makeup, we can act on it or avoid certain things because we know that this is something that we may have a problem with later on,” said Dr. Kimes.
The genetic profile has a 90 percent accuracy rate and is covered under insurance.