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Do Smarter Kids Experiment More with Drugs? — Health Check

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A new study of 8,000 kids published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds those who had high IQs were more likely to use certain illicit drugs as they aged. Smarter girls in particular may tend to experiment with marijuana, cocaine, and other illicit drugs later on.

While the connection between high intelligence and later drug use is not fully understood, study researcher James White, PhD, said, “People with a high IQ have also been found to be more open to new experiences.” However, more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn about how to keep brainy kids from using drugs as adults.

Bruce Goldman, director of substance abuse services at the Zucker Hillside Hospital of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Glen Oaks, New York, says the study results are a wake-up call to parents.

“Don’t be lulled by your kid’s good academic performance to think that they are not experimenting with drugs,” he said. “It is commonplace with peers and it is naive to think that because you have a good, smart kid that they will not be curious.”


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