ADHD Treatment Lowers the Chances of Criminality

by Anne Trueman on  November 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as a common childhood ailment that can extend into adulthood as well.

ADHD is a neurobehavioral and psychiatry disorder accompanied with criminal and impulsive behavioral tendencies.
ADHD Treatment Lowers the Chances of Criminality
ADHD Treatment Lowers the Chances of Criminality

The scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, have discovered that patients undergoing ADHD treatment have less chances of exhibiting criminal tendencies.

For the study, the scientists culled Swedish health records from 25,656 volunteers, mainly men with ADHD.

They collected relevant information pertaining to pharmacologic treatment followed by criminal convictions during 2006 to 2009 in Sweden.

Researchers noticed that ADHD patients seeking non-stimulants or stimulant medications to cure the situation had less chances of committing crimes in contrast to those not taking any medications.

The scientists observed that males undergoing ADHD treatment had 32 percent less likelihood for criminal conviction while women had 41 percent less chances for being convicted for criminal act in comparison to people not seeking any ADHD medication.

The researchers noted, 'Patients who took medications and stayed off them for not more than 6 months were 12 percent more likely to commit crimes (in) non-treatment phases.'

Prof. Paul Lichtenstein of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, "There is some evidence to suggest that while on medication, a person with ADHD is less likely to get involved in criminal behavior. They may be less impulsive, or perhaps they are better organized in their life. Some may have poor judgment when they are not taking medicine to control their symptoms."

Prof. Lichtenstein added, "The most probable interpretation would be that medication reduces symptoms like impulsiveness, and that would be similar regardless of country or culture."

The researchers concluded that ADHD treatment facilitates better organization of 'their lives or contributes to enduring changes at the neuronal level'.

The scientists highlighted that the expected rates of criminal behavior was quite low in periods when ADHD patients were under treatment. The research findings established the importance of use of medication in mitigating the risk of criminal attitude and behavior among ADHD patients.

The research was financially supported by the Swedish Research Council and others.


Medication for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Criminality; Paul Lichtenstein et al; N Engl J Med 2012; 367:2006-2014

Source: Medindia

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