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Posted on July 31st, 2017

Why do smart people take more drugs?

Why do smart people take more drugs?

Some of the stereotypical ideas pertaining to substance abuse across different communities and demographic groups include that only the people who are illiterate, ignorant and foolish use drugs. On the contrary to such a clichéd idea, an increasing number of people now accept that there is a unique relationship between talent and drugs.

In fact, several scientific studies explain the inquisitiveness of smart people toward mind-altering substances, such as alcohol, drugs, etc. One can understand the close relationship between creative and smart people and substances.

The above finding is not a new revelation. Many prominent celebrities, writers, poets, artists, musicians and scientists have enjoyed a part of their life in the lap of substances. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a distinguished poet of the 17th century, was found to have been romanticizing with opium to escape from his miseries. His famous poem “Kubla Khan” was allegedly written under the heavy influence of opium.

In his autobiographical account, “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” Thomas De Quincey says, “Happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat pocket: portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pin bottle, and peace of mind could be sent down in gallons by the mail coach.”

Other great minds who had reportedly used substances to trigger creativity and imagination include Charles Dickens, Kurt Cobain, Vincent van Gogh, Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr., Stephen King, Marilyn Monroe, etc. Apparently, most of these highly creative people resort to substances to escape from the painful realities of their past and create once in a lifetime kind of piece of artwork.

Connection between creativity and drug abuse

A survey carried out by the researchers at Cardiff University in Wales illustrated the hidden logic behind people with a higher degree of IQ and their preferences for illicit drugs, compared to the people of average intelligence.

The research that included nearly 7,900 people who were born in early April 1970 persisted for several protracted decades. Researchers measured their IQ levels and asked questions related to psychological issues and drug use when the participants were aged five and ten. Thereafter, they were surveyed at the ages of 16 and 30 on a host of other such topics.

The survey found that at the age 30, nearly 35 percent of men and 16 percent of women had reportedly used marijuana at least once in the previous year.  In the same period, around 9 percent men and 4 percent women had taken another illicit drug cocaine. It was quite shocking to note that the previous drug users had scored a higher IQ compared to the non-users.

However, it was also found that the effect was quite considerable particularly on women. Compared to others, women who were in the top third of the IQ range at the age of five were two times more likely to have taken marijuana or cocaine by the age of 30. While men with the highest IQs are approximately 50 percent more likely to have taken amphetamines, nearly 65 percent are likely to have consumed ecstasy.

Evolutionarily novel behavior induced by higher IQ leads to increased drug use

The string that connects smarter brains with drugs is quite mysterious, which is often difficult to comprehend. Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa in his Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis explains how intelligence has evolved with time and has appeared as a means to deal with “evolutionary novelties,” and help humans in interacting with things around them.

This is why the brain of smart people are full of curiosities and are likely to continuously engage in experimenting and creating new technologies or substances, including drugs. Using their evolutionarily novel behavior, smarter people are likely to not only engage in healthy and beneficial behavior, but also try things that are harmful, such as psychoactive drugs.

Detox: Stepping stone to sobriety

The IQ of a person can never become a parameter to predict the risk of substance abuse. Even people considered smart and intelligent can make mistakes and turn to substances as a means of experimentation and adventure. Therefore, one should not buy many of the stereotypical ideas circulated in the society pertaining to substance and rather spread awareness about treatment possibilities,

If you or your loved one feels the urgent need to overcome an addiction, chat online with the Arizona Detox Helpline representatives or call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-8453 to know about the best detox treatment clinic in Arizona. The counselors will help you find the best detoxification treatment centers in Arizona offering customized treatment plans.