According to a Cohort Study, high IQ in childhood can be associated to illegal drug use later in life. Study examines educational attainment, lifetime drug use as well as socioeconomic factors. Drug use includes alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, heroin and speed.

The researchers’ findings base on data from 8,000 British individuals. Researchers used a validated scale to measure the IQ scores of participants at the ages of 5 and 10 years. They collected information on participants self reported levels of drug use and psychological distress at the age of 16 and again at the age of 30.

When intelligence was taken into account, after 25 years men with a high IQ score were 50% more likely to have taken illegal drugs. Whereas Women with a high IQ score were taking drugs more than two times as compared to those with low IQ scores.

The discoveries held true, regardless of parental social class, lifetime household income and anxiety/depression during adolescence. The researchers explain that according to some studies higher IQ leads to adoption of a healthy life style, whereas other studies link higher IQ with alcohol dependency in adulthood.

The reason for association between illegal drugs and high IQ are not clear, but prior investigations have revealed that intelligent individuals are open to experiences and keen on stimulation and novelty. In addition other studies explain that children who are intelligent are usually easily bored.

They crave for being different. These factors can conceivably increase vulnerability to using drugs as an avoidant coping strategy,” say the researchers.

By Ammara Hashmi