Genetic and Environmental Interplay in Adolescent Substance Use Disorders

Lindsey A Hines, Katherine I Morley, Clare Mackie, Michael Lynskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (SciVal)


Adolescent substance use is of considerable public health importance. This narrative review provides a brief background to genetically informative research methodologies and highlights key recent literature examining the interplay between genetic and environmental influences in the etiology of substance use. Twin studies have quantified the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences, and more recently co-relative and Children of Twin designs have shown environments can moderate heritability. Studies have identified a number of specific gene variants (e.g. OPRM1, DRD4, 5HTTLPR) that interact with parenting and peer influence, and the effectiveness of interventions may vary by genotype. However, little research has taken into account the stage-sequential nature of substance use. This may obscure important differences in the genetic and environmental influences, and their interplay, at the stages of escalation to problem use. Future research needs to build on existing methodologies to disentangle the complexities of progression in adolescent substance use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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