Clever children more likely to take drugs

Bright children who perform well in IQ tests may be more likely to indulge in illegal drug use later in life. This is the suggestion of new research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health - belonging to the Society for Social Medicine - which found this link is especially strong among women.

According to the study, men with high IQ scores at the age of five were found to be 50 per cent more likely to have taken drugs - such as ecstasy and amphetamines - by the time they reached 30.

In addition, the investigation revealed females who were clever as children were twice as likely as those who scored poorly to have tried such substances when they had grown up.

The authors noted previous research has suggested brainy youngsters may become easily bored or be teased by their peers, noting: "Either of which could conceivably increase vulnerability to using drugs as an avoidant coping strategy."

Dr Lucy Maddox, Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist from London, commented: "This finding is interesting as it goes against what we might have expected to find. 

"The finding is a correlation, so we can't say that higher IQ causes drug use, there may be other factors at play as well. Nonetheless it does bring to mind the pressures that high IQ, high achieving children can be under and highlights the need to include all children in drug education."