There have been many complaints about psychiatrists being too lenient with an ADHD diagnosis and prescribing medication too liberally. Stephen Faraone, PhD takes a position in support of ADHD pharmacotherapy as a way of mitigating criminal behavior.
Research results in a study conducted by Lichtenstein reveal that stimulant therapy prevents criminal behavior. With stimulant therapy, many criminals with ADHD have been able to control their behavior and stay out of prison. The representative participants in this study were a large group of individuals from Sweden. Because the participants were from Sweden, where the prevalence of ADHD is (0.7%), the results can be viewed as an accurate representation of the ADHD population. This is because in Sweden, ADHD is not frequently diagnosed, meaning that the test subjects who were diagnosed were likely to actually be suffering from ADHD.
The results revealed that when treated with stimulus medication, the rate of criminality was lower for individuals with ADHD. Although the research does not provide a reason for this phenomenon, Lichtenstein explains that the medication reduced symptoms of ADHD that may lead to crime. The medication was able to decrease impulsive behaviors aggression, and the risk of substance abuse seen in individuals with ADHD.
Further research is being conducted between psychotherapy, ADHD, and crime. It has been long known that there is a connection between ADHD and conduct disorder/antisocial personality disorder. With the information from these studies about the benefits of taking stimulant medication, we may be able to reduce crime rate in this group of people.
To learn more about crime reduction and pharmacotherapy for individuals with ADHD, read Faraone’s full article at this website.