Older teens and adults with attention deficit disorder are much less likely to commit a crime while on ADHD medication, a new study from Sweden found. It also showed how much more prone people with ADHD are to break the law — four to seven times more likely than others.
The findings suggest that Ritalin, Adderall, and other drugs that curb hyperactivity and boost attention remain important beyond the school-age years and that wider use of these medications in older patients might help curb crime.
The study was led by Paul Lichtenstein of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The findings appear in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
About 5 percent of children in the United States and other Western countries have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many youngsters are given medication to help them sit still and focus in school.
Using Swedish national registers, researchers studied about 16,000 men and 10,000 women ages 15 and older who had been diagnosed with ADHD.