Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adults with ADHD commit fewer crimes when on medication

Date:
November 22, 2012
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Criminal behaviour in people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) dropped sharply during periods when they were on medication, according to a new extensive registry study.

Criminal behaviour in people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) dropped sharply during periods when they were on medication, according to a new extensive registry study conducted at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The study that contained of over 25,000 individuals is published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Related Articles


While previous research has shown that people with ADHD are more likely to enter a life of crime, it has remained uncertain how ADHD medication affects this risk. After having studied over 25,000 individuals with ADHD from different registries over a four-year period (2006-2009), researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now been able to examine the link between ADHD medication and criminality.

The study demonstrates in a variety of ways links between ADHD medication and a reduced risk of criminality. For example, the incidence of criminal behaviour was lower amongst medicated individuals than unmedicated ones; and in the same individual comparing periods of medication with no medication, they also found that ADHD drugs were associated with a significant risk reduction of 32 per cent. This way of studying the same individual is a particular strength in that it shows that the risk reduction is probably not attributable to differences between participants on medication and those not.

Other conclusions drawn by the study are that the observed association is not different between males and females, and applies as much to petty crime as to serious and violent crime.

"We have shown that ADHD medication very probably reduces the risk of crime," says Henrik Larsson, Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet. "However, we need to point out that most medical treatments can have adverse side effects, so risks must be weighed up against benefits and the individual patient's entire life situation taken into consideration before medications are prescribed."

Co-author Professor Paul Lichtenstein from the same department adds: "Of course the potential pros and cons of each prescription have to be evaluated," he says. "What we're saying is that this probable reduction in the risk of crime must also be taken into account. It's said that roughly 30 to 40 per cent of long-serving criminals have ADHD. If their chances of recidivism can be reduced by 30 per cent, it would clearly effect total crime numbers in many societies."

Approximately five per cent of school children and possibly half as many adults have ADHD, which is characterised by a inattentiveness, distractedness and impulsivity. Research has shown that ADHD is a relatively stable condition and many of those who are diagnosed as children also meet the criteria for ADHD as adults. Individuals with ADHD can be treated with central stimulants, which are thought to act by enhancing alertness and mood and activating the brain which in turn improve attention and impulse control.

The study was financed with grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Wellcome Trust. There was also some collaboration


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul Lichtenstein, Linda Halldner, Johan Zetterqvist, Arvid Sjφlander, Eva Serlachius, Seena Fazel, Niklas Lεngstrφm, Henrik Larsson. Medication for Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder and Criminality. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 367 (21): 2006 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203241

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Adults with ADHD commit fewer crimes when on medication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122095115.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2012, November 22). Adults with ADHD commit fewer crimes when on medication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122095115.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Adults with ADHD commit fewer crimes when on medication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122095115.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins