Our sixth grade D.A.R.E. teachers would not be happy to hear about this!
A new British study has found children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as adults than people who score low on IQ tests as children.
Using data from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has been following thousands of people over decades, researchers found men with high childhood IQs were twice as likely to use illegal drugs compared to their lower-scoring peers.
It's not just a guy thing either. In fact, the study revealed it's actually more a of a girl thing! Women with high IQs as children were up to three times more likely to use drugs as adults.
James White, a psychologist at Cardiff University in the UK and the lead author of the paper, isn't surprised by his findings, explaining:
"Previous research found for the most part people with high IQs lead a healthy life, but that they are more likely to drink to excess as adults."
He offers up the notion that those with a higher IQ are "less likely to smoke [cigarettes], more likely to be active and to have a good diet", but do not see any danger in occasional drug use since there is little data suggesting any harm, elaborating:
"With smoking, the evidence [about its dangers] is overwhelming, whereas when you look at things like cannabis use, since they are more likely to associate with people who are similar to them, they are likely to see that smoking cannabis relatively infrequently doesn't have huge impact."
Ultimately, he feels that the main propulsion for the higher IQ population to use drugs is "openness to experience" paired with "having an educated view of risk as well." In his research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, White states:
"People with high IQs are more likely to score high on personality scales of openness to experience. They may be more willing to experiment and seek out novel experiences."
On the flip side, the psychologist notes other studies find kids with high IQs may use drugs because they are bored or to cope with being different.
We imagine there are an abundant amount of reasons kids and adults use or abuse drugs, but we don't think a single study will ever completely nail them all down.
On another note, does this study mean Charlie Sheen is a genius?
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: abuse, british, children, cigarette, dare, drug use, health, illegal, iq, research, smoking