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Government & Politics

Ohio Launches New Genetic Study on Addiction and Opioids

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R-Ohio)
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R-Ohio)

The state is launching a new study to find out if addiction and opioid use disorder can be traced to specific genetic markers. Attorney General Dave Yost says this can lead to stronger, data-based prevention efforts in the opioid epidemic. 

The $1.6 million study will collect DNA samples from about 1,500 participants screened from Ohio emergency rooms.

Those samples will be analyzed by a genetic mapping company in Michigan along with researchers from the Attorney General's office. Yost says the focus on prevention has centered around education.

But he urges the two should be separated.

"Education says 'we're going to give you information so you can make an informed choice.' But sometimes people make bad choices even when they're informed," Yost said. "Prevention is the side that says 'how are we going to help prevent or stop new addictions?"

And Yost says "stringent" measures will be taken to protect the privacy of the participants.