Study: Clever Children More Likely to End Up On Drugs

There have been a lot of studies recently where the findings were so obvious you wondered how they managed to get a research grant for it in the first place.But every so often you stumble upon a study where the findings were not as you might have predicted.

A recent study that found that clever children are more likely to use drugs surprised me greatly:

Intelligent girls and boys are much more likely than average to take illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy when they grow up, a study has found.

Scientists think they do so in part as a “coping strategy” to avoid bullying from their peers, and partially because they find life boring.

The effect is more pronounced in girls than boys, with those exhibiting high IQs as children more than twice as likely to have tried cocaine or cannabis by the age of 30, as those of lower intelligence.

The effect in boys with high IQs is also marked, with them being around 50 per cent more likely to have done so by that age as their less intelligent former classmates.

A team at Cardiff University analysed data from almost 8,000 people born in one week in April 1970, who were enrolled at birth in the ongoing British Cohort Study, which follows participants through life. All these children had their IQs tested between the age of five and 10.

Drug use, as reported by the participants themselves, was then recorded at 16 and 30 years of age.

At 16, 7.0 per cent of boys and 6.3 per cent of girls had used cannabis. This minority had “statistically significant higher mean childhood IQ scores” than non-users, according to the authors of the report, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The authors noted: “Across most drugs (except amphetamine in men), men and women who reported using in the past 12 months had a significantly higher childhood IQ score than those who reported no use.”

They concluded: “High childhood IQ may increase the risk of substance abuse in early adulthood.”

Well that explains it – no wonder why I’ve never taken drugs!

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