When someone is diagnosed with depression, bipolar, or other psychological disorders, medications are often prescribed. Because everyone’s body chemistry is different, the way individuals process medications can vary. Unfortunately, some medications prove to be ineffective. Often, it can take up to thirty days to determine if a medication is working. This delays the therapeutic approach and new medication must be prescribed with the hope that the body metabolizes the drug appropriately.
One of the more progressive tools used in many residential treatment centers is genetic testing. Developed by the Mayo Clinic, this allows a physician to examine the client’s DNA to determine what medications are most likely to be effective. The test is done by taking a swab of the inside of the client’s mouth, collecting DNA. The sample is sent to a genetic testing lab where test results are returned within 24 hours. Subsequently, a report is generated which provides information on what medications the client metabolizes well and which medications are not effective. This allows the physician and client to have a more productive conversation about the approach to their underlying issues, contributing to their addiction. As a result, this minimizes the chances of a lengthy medication regimine that may or may not work.