People With ADHD 4x More Likely to Commit a Crime
But medication drastically reduces risk of criminality: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 22, 2012 7:02 AM CST
Medications significantly decrease the risk of criminality among ADHD patients.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists know that people with ADHD are more likely to break the law than non-sufferers, but a new study shows how stark the contrast is—and the difference meds can make. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are four to seven times more likely to commit a crime than their peers, Swedish researchers find. The study, which the AP calls "provocative," points to a need for patients to stay on drugs like Ritalin and Adderall beyond childhood. Researchers used Swedish national health and court records to track 16,000 men and 10,000 women with ADHD aged 15 and older, comparing each subject with 10 similar people without the disorder.

Over four years, some 37% of men with ADHD were convicted of committing a crime, versus just 9% of men without the disorder; for women, the rates were 15% and 2%, respectively. Medication appeared to cut the risk of committing a crime by 32% among men and 41% among women. Some 4,000 of the 23,000 crimes studied were violent, but medication reduced all types of crime. "It's not necessarily just the medication" that's cutting crime, a researcher notes: People on meds are also getting other kinds of treatment, including counseling.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
People With ADHD 4x More Likely to Commit a Crime is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 5 comments
Nov 23, 2012 7:30 AM CST
Nov 22, 2012 3:52 PM CST
doh you dont say!
Nov 22, 2012 1:11 PM CST
if pot were legal, would they still be clamoring then for us to take our "meds"? Tryptophan is nice, but today I give thanks for marijuana. -HTGUADHDr's100