ADHD Drugs Lower Criminal Behavior

The link between ADHD and poor performance in school, depression, anxiety, and an increase in criminal behavior is well established.  Although the benefits of taking a prescription medication must be weighed against the risks, a recent Swedish study reported on followed over 25,000 people diagnosed with ADHD.  The Swedish researchers looked at their medication records and their criminality rates, and found that people who consistently took their meds had a substantially lower risk of participating in criminal behavior.  Read below for key excerpts from the RedOrbit article:


A study by British and Swedish researchers recently found that medication for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could help reduce some instances of criminal behavior.

Medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and other drugs could help limit hyperactivity and elevate the ability to focus. Reuters reports that Ritalin is produced by Novartis, a Swedish drug maker, while companies sell other ADHD drugs like Eli Lilly (Strattera), Johnson & Johnson (Concerta), and Shire (Adderall and Vyvanse).

These medications could be beneficial for children past school and into their adult life.

“There definitely is a perception that it’s a disease of childhood and you outgrow your need for medicines,” Dr. William Cooper, a Vanderbilt University professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine, told the Associated Press (AP). “We’re beginning to understand that ADHD is a condition for many people that really lasts throughout their life.”

Based on the findings of the research project, the team of investigators found that, when the patients had been taking their ADHD medication, there was a drop of 32 percent in the criminality rate of men and 41 percent reduction of crime for females.

“We have shown that ADHD medication very probably reduces the risk of crime,” explained Henrik Larsson, an associate professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet, in a prepared statement. “However, we need to point out that most medical treatments can have adverse side effects, so risks must be weighed up against benefits and the individual patient’s entire life situation taken into consideration before medications are prescribed.”

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