Genesight is an innovative form of genetic testing. The test works on a genetic level to identify which medications are most likely to work best for a given patient. Genesight takes the guesswork out of medication, helping doctors identify the best option from the start.
For individuals undergoing a substance use treatment program, mental health medication often plays a vital role in stabilizing their mental, emotional, and physical health.
Without achieving basic wellness in these areas, it can be much harder for a patient to focus on changing habits and getting to the root of the trauma and coping mechanisms that underlie addiction.
Genesight gives patients in recovery a head start. When the optimal medications are identified genetically, a patient can stabilize faster and build a stronger recovery foundation while in treatment.
How Does Genesight Genetic Testing Work?
Genesight is a pharmacogenomic test, which means it targets a person’s genome to identify how they will respond to pharmaceutical drugs.
Based on an individual’s specific genetic information, test results show how different types and brands of mental health medications will work on a patient.
Genesight gives doctors an inside look at how a patient will react to medications on a genetic level. Using this information, doctors can provide customized prescriptions tailored to succeed based on feedback about a patient’s genetic predisposition.
Why Is Genesight Used at Indiana Center for Recovery?
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about half of all individuals with a substance use disorder also have a mental health disorder. The presence of both substance use and mental health disorders is clinically referred to as “co-occurring disorders.”
Patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder may be unaware that they also meet the criteria for a mental health disorder. In other cases, a patient’s attempts to knowingly or unknowingly self-medicate can be a primary contributing factor to the development of a substance use disorder.
Substance misuse is closely tied to mental health. Mental health treatment is always a cornerstone of any substance use treatment program, and it’s common for patients to opt for mental health medications to help create stability, especially during the early recovery process.
The diagnosis, treatment, and medication of mental health disorders are key elements of inpatient substance use treatment.
Common prescription medications frequently prescribed to patients undergoing inpatient treatment programs include:
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Mood stabilizers
The specific combination of prescription medications recommended for an individual depends on many factors, including whether a patient is being treated for co-occurring disorders.
How Does Genesight Improve the Chances of Long-Term Recovery?
Prescription medications can bring significant relief to patients undergoing the changes that come with detox and treatment. However, they can also bring challenges.
A person in inpatient treatment is dealing with a vast array of life changes. The withdrawal period is usually difficult and often painful. In conjunction with the adjustment to being substance-free, a detoxing patient experiences other changes, such as weight fluctuations, as a healthy diet and sleep pattern are restored.
With so many internal and external changes occurring, ineffective prescription medication can add to the difficulties a patient experiences. For example, an SSRI is a type of antidepressant commonly prescribed during treatment. A doctor might be faced with four different SSRIs to choose from when deciding on one to prescribe.
Medical professionals use a process of informed trial and error by selecting a medication, monitoring side effects and effectiveness, and altering dosage or brand depending on feedback from the patient. A drug’s effectiveness on a patient’s mental health is primarily assessed through how they feel.
A patient dealing with a new prescription may find it difficult to identify possible side effects and effectiveness amid the changes caused by substance detox and entry into a treatment program. They might assume that certain side effects are related to detox, while they are actually caused by an incorrect dosage or ineffective prescription.
With Genesight, a doctor can see that a patient is likely to metabolize three of the four options twice as quickly. Instead of testing three ineffective medications, the doctor can choose the most effective option from the start.
Genesight empowers patients by giving them the best mental health tools, customized to their unique genetic makeup.
Are There Any Health Risks to Using Genesight?
The Genesight test itself is simple and painless, performed with a non-invasive cheek swab. Genesight allows doctors to identify which pharmacological treatments are most likely to work effectively. When Genesight is an option, not taking advantage of this new technology may be a bigger health risk.
Genesight is backed by seven different clinical studies. This makes it the most-studied psychiatric pharmacogenomic test available to healthcare professionals.
Outcomes consistently show that information gained from Genesight testing saves valuable time and money by avoiding prescription trial and error. For individuals in early recovery, testing out medications can be a time-consuming luxury that may cost a patient their sobriety during this delicate phase.
When the stress and uncertainty of assessing prescription effectiveness are eliminated, patients have more mental and emotional bandwidth to focus on healing during an inpatient stay.
The high incidence of co-occurring disorders means that if a patient can receive targeted pharmacological intervention during treatment, they are better able to build a strong foundation for lasting recovery.
*This content is provided by Indiana Center for Recovery and medically reviewed. This content was not provided by Genesight and in no way is official medical advice.