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Study: ADHD Medications May Keep Patients Off Crime

Nov 28th, 2012

ADHD MedicationsPeople with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are impulsive, hyperactive, and have difficulties paying attention. According to a recent Swedish study, medications used to control these symptoms may also help control criminal behavior.

People with ADHD commonly have problems with school, jobs, and relationships. They have higher risk for depression, anxiety, and alcohol or substance abuse.

Several studies have suggested that they are also more likely to commit crimes.

Researchers analyzed data of more than 25,000 people diagnosed with ADHD and made comparisons between their medication histories and criminal records from 2006 to 2009.

They found that taking ADHD medications may help prevent them from going against the law.

When they were taking ADHD medication of any type, men were 32 percent less likely to commit a crime while women were 41 percent less likely to break the law compared to when they were off their ADHD medication.

Crimes committed were mostly non-violent, with burglary topping the list.

“The most probable interpretation would be that medication reduces symptoms like impulsivity, and that would be similar regardless of country or culture,” said study author Paul Lichtenstein, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

The study did not explore the reasons for this phenomenon. However, they suspect that ADHD medication controls symptoms such as impulsivity, irritability, and restlessness which could otherwise lead them to commit crimes.

He notes that people with ADHD should think about the importance of taking medication.

“What this study adds is that this probable reduction in the risk of crime should now also be taken into account in this evaluation,” Lichtenstein says. “So, I guess it might be taken as a motivation for parents as well as young adults to consider taking medication.”

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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