Two years ago my genes were profiled. Results ranged from useful (high risk for blood clots) to mildly unsettling (I do have curly blonde hair and blue eyes). But among the laundry list of drug response and trait data was something that peaked my interest -- sandwiched between ‘Floxacillin Toxicity’ and ‘Lumirazcoxib Side Effects’ was ‘Heroin Addiction.’
And guess what? I have “substantially higher odds” of being a heroin addict. --- Yes, that is based on preliminary data. But in this case, I'm not so interested in accuracy as I am about our reaction to the data and its implications. Here's a look at my results:
Along with the array of data, genotypes, markers and studies, comes a forum to discuss it. Reactions ranged:
“So that’s why I like vicodin.” Genetically speaking, my body gets more out of opiates. Rock on! Ps I do not do Heroin, lol.
I am an AG of Substantially higher odds of heroin addiction. I know this had to have come from my dad's side because my father was an addict, my grandmother died in her 30s from a painkiller addiction and my uncle (his brother) slowly threw his life away on heroin (he is currently living in a drug house last I heard).
I never tried heroin so I wouldn't know that affect but as far as the painkillers I sometimes had to take due to my spine issues my body often wanted more and more which I fought, its kind of scary to see that this is why I had those cravings all these years.
I have an increased risk of heroin addiction, which makes me worry because after the major surgery I had 2 months ago I was put on heavy amounts of Dilaudid (hydro-morphine). Now I find myself craving it and unable to feel comfortable w/ out it. I'm really worried about how hard it will be to completely stop using it and how long it will take for me to feel like I did pre-surgery...Scary.
What does this tell us? If we knew we were more susceptible, would we be less likely to try heroin, or would we want to test the theory?
Heroin along with morphine, oxycodone, codeine and other pain medications are derivatives of the opium poppy. Should high heroin susceptibility results make us wary of taking opiate-based medication, or do these results simply play into our psychology, eliciting something of a placebo effect if we take opiate prescriptions?
A commenter above notes that he worries over his Dilaudid medication, hydromorphone, a drug in the opiate family, after surgery. The way he phrased the thought, "I have an increased risk of heroin addiction...Now I find myself craving," suggests that his heroin susceptibility results made him worry over his surgery prescription. Is this a good thing, heightening awareness of potential prescription drug abuse, or a negative one, increasing worry and medication paranoia?
Should, I, a person with higher heroin addiction potential, be concerned over drip morphine after surgery along with other opiates, like oxycodone and Tylenol with codeine for pain treatment? Is this data making us rightly aware or fearful and prone to hypochondria?