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Smart kids take drugs more than others.

November 16, 2011

By Eline Hædersdal

A  new study released Monday by researchers at Cardiff University indicates that children with higher IQ’ s are more prone to drug use than their less intelligent counterparts.

“High childhood IQ may increase the risk of illegal drug use in adolescence and adulthood” concluded the report by James White and G. David Batty.

The report incorporated a large sample of nearly 8000 participants from a 1970 British Cohort Study. The study measured the use of various types of drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine, compared to IQ scores, educational attainment and socioeconomic factors.

The study tested the children’s IQ at ages 5, 10 and 16 and then asked about their use of drugs in the past year, at the age of 30.

One explanation of the findings  is that people with higher IQ are more experimental than others.

“It is not yet clear exactly why there should be a link between high IQ and illicit drug use, previous research has shown that people with a high IQ are more open to new experiences and keen on novelty and stimulation” said White in a news release.

At age 30, 35% of the men and 16% of women had used cannabis and 9% of the men and 4% of the women had used cocaine, all within the last year.

Men, who had a high IQ score at the age of 5, had a 50% higher chance to have used drugs at the age of 30. This correlation was twice as strong with women.

However, Dr. White urges that more research is needed to detemine the cause for this association: “There is a clear need for future epidemiological and experimental studies to explore these and other pathways”

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