In recent news, a British study has made a splash with the findings that children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as teenagers and adults. Data used was from a 1970 British Cohort Study that followed nearly 8,000 men and women and children with high IQs scores at either 5 or 10 years of age showed an increased chance of illicit drug use at age 16 and age 30. The link between intelligence and drug use was independent of other factors such as mental health, socioeconomic status, or social class. While explanations are a little hazy, intelligent people are thought to be more open to new experiences and thus more apt to try drugs. Other reasoning has brought up using drugs due to boredom or the wish to cope with feeling different from one’s peers.
This is certainly an extremely interesting claim, but do we buy it? After writing my last essay on addiction, I read many studies on specific brain structures and neurotransmitters, which make me think this finding is a little too simple. Openness to experience is one of the Big Five personality dimensions so essentially reasoning is connecting the personality of intelligent people to using drugs, which I’m not sure how I feel about. Also I was a little surprised that other factors weren’t seen to play a bigger role in the risk of using drugs.