Study: ADHD medicines help curb criminal behavior

Older teens and adults with attention deficit disorder are much less likely to commit a crime while on ADHD medication, a provocative study from Sweden found.

It also showed in dramatic fashion 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.

“There definitely is a perception that it’s a disease of childhood and you outgrow your need for medicines,” said Dr. William Cooper, a pediatrics and preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “We’re beginning to understand that ADHD is a condition for many people that really lasts throughout their life.”

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