A pilot program created to study drug abuse and improve opioid addiction treatment in Kalamazoo, Michigan has recently launched and is currently recruiting participants.
The study will aim to delve deeper into the roles that genetics play when it comes to the development of a substance use disorder. The researchers leading the study are also hoping to be able to reach innovative insights that may improve medication-assisted treatment methods.
The program that prompted the study is the result of a partnership between the Kalamazoo-based genomics research organization Genemarkers with the Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and the Ferris State University College of Pharmacy.
Genemarkers researchers are going to be using a panel to perform pharmacogenomic testing as well as a customized, addiction risk screening panel in which genetic analysis will be conducted.
In addition to looking for ways to improve medication-assisted treatment practices, the examination of these panels should allow the researchers to explore how genetic data may improve opioid prescribing practices and people’s predisposition to substance use disorders
Clinical researchers from the Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will be responsible for collecting samples and then assisting in analyzing these samples with Genemarkers.
The Ferris State University College of Pharmacy will also be responsible for examining the data gathered in the study and outlining recommendations to improve opioid addiction treatment services.
The Chief Executive Officer of Genemarkers, Ana Langerveld explained that genetics are crucially influential in the ways that individuals respond to substances and the chances that they have of developing an addiction.
The Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services received $750,000 in grant funding to support the research. The study is also being supported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which has used the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant to allocate $16.3 million in federal funding to the initiative.
Representatives of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have stated that this study may be extremely valuable for their agency, considering the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently reported that roughly half of the overdoses related to prescribed painkillers in the state occur among Medicaid recipients.
The recruitment for the study is… (continue reading)