Does Childhood IQ Predict Substance Abuse in Adults?

Does Childhood IQ Predict Substance Abuse in Adults?

Does Childhood IQ Predict Substance Abuse in Adults?

New research on the topic of substance abuse comes out monthly in academic journals. One such topic which has new research regularly forthcoming is the effect of one’s childhood on their substance abuse as an adult. Substance abuse treatment facilities and academic sources continue to look for patterns of behavior to predict the need for long term drug rehab.

It seems simplistic to look at characteristic “X” in children and determine whether a child will become addicted to substances as an adult. It is also not always accurate to look backwards from adulthood to childhood and find patterns to predict substance abuse. However inadequate it may be, at times this is how research starts.

Connecting Adult Drug Use with Their Childhood IQ Testing

Research on predicting substance abuse can occasionally be contradictory. Sometimes researchers take a look at the same factor and come out with completely different conclusions, depending on how they focus their research.

Until recently, research conducted on adults who had a high IQ as children showed that their IQ was related to healthy behaviors as adults. These healthy behaviors included a healthy diet, being physically active and not smoking.

The latest research is now indicating that a high IQ in childhood is associated with an increased risk of excess alcohol use and alcohol dependency later in life. In fact, this trend held true in another study that showed men who had a high IQ at the age of 10 were much more likely to abuse illicit drugs at age 30. These men will likely need long term drug rehab.

Researchers have not determined which of these studies is most accurate. Substance abuse research has far to go before it can predict the precise individuals who might need substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse treatment facilities will continue to benefit from the research as it is refined.

From your experience, which finding makes most sense to you: adults who scored highly on IQ tests as children were more or less likely to struggle with addiction later in life?

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Posted on December 8th, 2011 in Help Blog


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