The Lansing State Journal recently reported a Swedish study that found people who take ADHD medications are less likely to commit crimes. The study reported that people with ADHD are much more prone to criminal activity-from four to seven times more likely to commit crimes than others. It is well known that people with ADHD are more prone to drug abuse and criminal behaviors. The study emphasized the need for people with ADHD to take medication into adulthood; it is also important that it be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. The earlier that treatment and medication begin, the better the chances for avoiding addiction and criminal issues into adulthood. The study found a clear and strong connection between people taking ADHD medicines and a reduction in criminal behavior, and it reports that this is likely due to the medication helping to curb impulsive, risky behaviors and increasing the ability to focus, organize, and make better choices.
Anecdotally, we have seen that people with ADHD often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which often leads to risk-taking and criminal behaviors. For example, we have had clients tell us that marijuana made them feel normal-- likely because it slowed down their thinking. It is our experience that the earlier ADHD is diagnosed and treated, the more successful people are in avoiding addictions and criminal activity. Families who fail to address ADHD early on often see their children do poorly in school, even though they are usually very bright. These children end up engaging in negative, attention-getting behaviors that often leads to risk-taking, drug and alcohol use, and criminal activity.