Thursday, September 19, 2013
Is Your Kid Too Smart To Try Drugs? Think Again
Maia Szalavitz is a neuroscientist journalist (my dream job!) for Time, and she asks the question: "Smarter Kids Are Smart Enough to Avoid Alcohol and Drugs, Right?"
The latest study of twins is part of an emerging body of work that suggests kids who develop language and intellectual skills earlier are more likely to drink and take other drugs than their less intelligent peers.
For decades, scientists had documented that those with lower IQ and less education were more likely to become addicted to alcohol or other drugs. The latest data doesn't contradict those findings, but drug use is not the same as drug addiction - and a great deal of research shows that higher intelligence is a protective factor against alcoholism and addictions, even though smarter people are more likely to drink or try drugs.
Intelligence can serve as a vehicle for moderation when it comes to alcohol or drug use. The smarter you are, the more you appreciate the dangers and risks of excessive use. From all the reports of alcohol poisonings among college students, though, you wonder about their intelligence. Apparently, higher intelligence spurs more curiosity and openness to new experiences - including experimenting with alcohol and drugs.
So, I will be ready when my #3 grandson is a teenager. He has always been the one who thinks, "I wonder what would happen if . . ."