Who you are is the result of a complicated interplay between your environment, your genes, and probably a few other factors science has yet to uncover. Genetics influence somewhere around half of a person's "vulnerability to addiction," according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. Now, as opioid addiction has reached epidemic levels in the US, researchers have shed light on the role one specific gene plays in influencing the risk of opioid addiction.
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This week, United States Senator Claire McCaskill released a report on the findings of a congressional investigation into the practices of pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. The jaw-dropping allegations detail the process in which agents systematically convinced insurers to pay for a highly-addictive opioid cancer pain drug for patients who didn't have cancer.