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Study: People On ADHD Medication Less Likely To Commit Crimes

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File photo of a bottle of Ritalin. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a bottle of Ritalin. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (CBS Connecticut) – A recently-discovered perk for those living with attention deficit disorder is that they are less likely to spend time behind bars.

People living with ADHD are four to seven times more likely to commit a crime if they are not on ADHD medication, suggesting that drugs that boost attention can keep teens and adults with ADHD out of jail.

The study, which was conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, found that among the 26,000 people diagnosed with ADHD who had been tracked between 2006 and 2009, almost 37 percent of men with ADHD were convicted at least once in a four-year period. The percentage is more than four times the percentage of men without ADHD who were convicted, which registered at 9 percent during this same four-year period. Among women, the difference in likelihood was even more staggering, with 15 percent of ADHD women being convicted at least once compared to just 2 percent of non-ADHD women – making ADHD women more than seven times more likely than their non-ADHD counterparts to commit a crime.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the aiding of ADHD medication greatly reduced the risk of heading to jail. Using ADHD medication cut the likelihood of committing a crime by 32 percent among men and another 41 percent among women, according to the research.

“It’s well known that individuals with ADHD have much higher rates of criminality and drug abuse than people without ADHD,” Paul Lichtenstein of the Karolinka Institute told the New England Journal of Medicine.

According to the study, most of the crimes were burglaries or thefts, with around 4,000 of the 23,000-plus being classified as violent crimes. The research concludes that the medication has cut down on all types of crime.

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