For years, researchers have tried to determine the genetic causes of addiction and develop technologies or medications that diminish inherited predisposition to Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Often these researchers include sets of twins in their studies.

Identical twins share 100% percent of their genes, while non-identical twins share 50% of their genes. Twins raised in the same household share genetic and environmental similarities; thus, researchers can observe the influence of heritable traits and environmental factors on the development of SUD in the twins.

Twin studies were used to determine that environment and genetic makeup both influence the development of SUD. In 1999, a study of female twins in Virginia found that when one twin abused cocaine, the other twin was highly likely to exhibit similar behavior.

The correlation was less strong in non-identical twins. Demographic studies indicate that genetic predisposition accounts for approximately half of the probability that a person will develop SUD. Environmental factors comprise the other half. Studies of identical or non-identical twin pairs that live in separate homes indicate the influence of external factors on addiction.

If one twin develops an addiction while the other does not, environmental factors must be to blame. Current recovery strategies focus on changing one’s environment to combat SUD. Planning a lifestyle that promotes strong mental health and deters substance abuse is central to many individuals in recovery. Twin studies are enabling researchers to explore treatment options that will target genes. Future research will lead to innovations that allow professional treatment through the alteration of both environmental and genetic factors.

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, call Alta Loma Transformational Services today. You know your needs better than anybody else, and our team of mental health and addiction recovery experts will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan that works for you. At Alta Loma, we want to equip you with the tools you need to enjoy a lifetime of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. When your mind and body exist in a healthy environment, you will progress toward recovery, no matter your genetic predisposition. Your recovery is our priority. Please call us today at (866) 457-3843 for a consultation.