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Who Uses Illegal Drugs More: People with High or Low IQs?

A long-term study that was conducted on about 8,000 people found that those who have high intelligence quotients (IQs) are more likely to use illegal drugs as teenagers and adults than people who have low IQs. The link between IQ and drug usage appeared to be stronger in highly intelligent women, who were more than twice as likely as their peers to have used cocaine and marijuana. Highly intelligent men in the study, which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, were found to be almost 50 percent more likely to have taken amphetamines than lower-IQ men and about 65 percent more likely to have used ecstasy.

More facts about IQ and drug and alcohol usage:

  • Illegal drug use aside, people who have higher IQs tend to lead healthier lifestyles than people who have low IQs. They are statistically less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise and more likely to follow healthy diets.

  • Several studies have shown that highly intelligent people also are more likely to be heavy drinkers as adults and have a higher risk for alcoholism.

  • Many of the high-IQ adults in the study were found to use three or more types of illegal drugs.

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