High IQ linked to drug use
November 14th, 2011
06:30 PM ET

High IQ linked to drug use

The "Just Say No" generation was often told by parents and teachers that intelligent people didn't use drugs.   Turns out, the adults may have been wrong.

A new British study finds children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as adults than people who score low on IQ tests as children.  The data come from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has been following thousands of people over decades.  The kids' IQs were tested at the ages of 5, 10 and 16.  The study also asked about drug use and looked at education and other socioeconomic factors.  Then when participants turned 30, they were asked whether they had used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the past year.

Researchers discovered men with high childhood IQs were up to two times more likely to use illegal drugs than their lower-scoring counterparts.  Girls with high IQs were up to three times more likely to use drugs as adults.  A high IQ is defined as a score between 107 and 158.  An average IQ is 100. The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The lead researcher says he isn't surprised by the findings.  "Previous research found for the most part people with high IQs lead a healthy life, but that they are more likely to drink to excess as adults," says James White a psychologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

It's not clear why people with high childhood IQs are more likely to use illegal drugs.  "We suspect they may be more open to new experiences and are more sensation seeking," says White.  In the paper, White and his co-author also mention other studies that find high IQ kids may use drugs because they are bored or to cope with being different.

That seems to ring true for one of my childhood classmates. Tracey Helton Mitchell was one of the smartest kids in my middle school. But, by the time she was in her early 20's, Tracey was a heroin addict. I found out while flipping channels one sleepless night and stumbled upon the documentary "Black Tar Heroin."

"I was confident in my abilities but there was a dissonance," says Tracey, with whom I recently reconnected.  "No matter what I did, what I said, where I went, I was never comfortable with the shell I carried called myself."

soundoff (1,112 Responses)
  1. Ben F

    It's probably because smart people go to college- ie. the number one place to score drugs.

    November 14, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      Also, smart people generally make more money and can afford drugs. Now, I have known some really intelligent people who used drugs and some really, really ignorant people who used drugs.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • patsac

      Ha ha... Right on! Occam's Razor....

      November 14, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • theLord

      Or maybe because white trailer park trash learn from their parents, sitting on the couch swilling beer and screaming at the evils of pot?

      November 14, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
    • rob2tall

      there are far more drugs available in the military then college unless you at a 4 year college or live in California

      November 14, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Its obvious!!! Doing drugs makes you smarter

      November 14, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
    • geriatric

      it is because we are bored (my iq was last tested above 160).

      November 14, 2011 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • KC

      A well thought through intelligent statement, NOT Or ignorant drival...........

      November 14, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
  2. Dreamer

    It's because higher IQ people don't have a whit of common sense anymore. Too much anomie, and not enough grounding in reality. Hence the drug use, which doesn't make them stupid, per se, just twits.

    November 14, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Walsh's Boy Head

      Too much anomie my foot. That concept is old and busted and has no operational validity... you may as well be talking about ghosts or magic.

      November 14, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • jim d

      what is anomie????

      November 14, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Or, it could be because we are surrounded by people like you, and just can't take it sober anymore.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • Wayne, Canada

      I have a tremendous amount of common sense, and yet, can you imagine, I am intelligent to boot?

      You're just envious,... admit it.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
    • Nightmare

      "It's because higher IQ people don't have a whit of common sense anymore."

      LOL. So dreamer, which do you have?

      Sounds like you are dually challenged.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • bulbulator

      My guess would be 'Anomie' is Dreamer-specific transcription of Anime?

      Note how he addresses them in 3rd person as 'higher IQ people' making it even more obvious that his IQ is in the double digits.

      November 15, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  3. Paul


    November 14, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rob2tall

      my IQ is about 165 and I am quite happy even though I am unemployed.I have 2 college degrees,and smoke pot,have used LSD and never caused any issues-and the easy place to get drugs is in the military

      November 14, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • Derrique Stuckey

      @rob2tall – Gee, if you didn't get booted from the military because of drugs, you might actually still have a job. So much for them never having a negative impact on your life.

      November 15, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • mkuske

      rob2tall, so exactly when did this discussion - and Paul's linked study - become about you specifically?

      November 15, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  4. JonahBC

    Interesting study... Yes in a way smart people lead a kinda stressful life... usually by occupation and the daily grind of the dummy-down syndrome..... most smarties I know need a joint in the evenings...

    November 14, 2011 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lou

      The Plant is the key. After a hard day nothing is better then a bowl.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
  5. Jk

    I can tell you from personal experience as an academic and someone who is around academics all the time – you need something to shut your brain off or you just can't rest.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rockgoddess

      Amen!!! That is exactly what it is, my brain feels like it is in overload and smoking pot helps to shut it down for a few hours!

      November 14, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
  6. fdhfgh

    i think you can't be mental without drugs. my mother never did drugs and she is completely close minded with no chance of mental inspiration alternatives that only really drugs offer....... unless your super rich which can be eye opening in itself..... still i always notice people who don't do drugs can use the mental boost. so yea there is a link... In that case people in jail must be going insane since many were into drugs. Another psych ward.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adam

      You're an idiot.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • Fregunnr

      Coherent much?

      November 14, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • Dan


      Normally, I'm not fond of such responses. However, in this case, it's the only thing to be said.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • xab

      May I have some balsamic-vinaigrette dressing with that word salad, please?

      November 14, 2011 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • mrbluiis

      You're not helping to prove this story's validity.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
  7. David

    The more intelligent people think more about right and wrong and are less likely to obey a rule just because it's a rule.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Larry

    Never realized that 107 was a high IQ. Live and learn.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Heather

      It's not. It's average (90-110).

      November 14, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
  9. Fuzzycop

    So, people with IQ's above 158 are not considered to have High IQs?

    November 14, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rednip

      I think that it's called 'exceptional' or 'god-like', if you really want to know, look it up. Clearly you're not in that category either.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      An IQ of 160 and above is considered at the "genius" level, so I assume they are in another category besides just "high".

      November 14, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • Thisone

      Actually, an IQ of 135 and above is considered 'genius'.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Sorry to bust your bubble but 135 is not genius level... everything I've ever read and heard indicates 160 as the threshold. My brother was tested at 155, I was at 138.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
  10. stonedwhitetrash

    Hey man that huge blunt just raised my IQ according to CNN does anyone what an IQ is.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JB

    I love drugs and I am by far the smartest person I know. Sometimes I do drugs just to increase challenges and to keep from being bored.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      You're humble also correct?

      November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • bulbulator

      "I love drugs and im the smartest person I know.."

      indiscriminate use of any mind altering substance one can get their hands on, also known as 'dumpster diving', is a giveaway trait of a true genius that you undoubtedly are

      November 15, 2011 at 00:45 | Report abuse |
  12. Dennis

    Because they have the brain cells to spare.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Chris

    I think it's related to the fact that smarter individuals are constantly thinking in different terms than others, and with that comes changed outlooks on the world, their own lives, and social norms or taboos. Another factor could be that higher IQ individuals are more likely to have mental issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc and they develop codependency or self medicating habits. I was tested at the age of 10 and had an IQ of 138, by the time I hit puberty I became enveloped in full fledged major depressive disorder and social anxiety. Needless to say I have experimented with a host of drugs, however they have never become a problem for me in my private of public life.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Meh

    I've never been much for drugs but honestly if you are remotely intelligent in this world you _want_ to get hammered every time you look around at what a damn circus this place is.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Janet

      Well said. OMG you are a poet:)

      November 14, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
    • JTP

      This has made the most sense of any reply so far...KUDOS!!

      November 14, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly


      November 14, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
  15. Opp

    The smarter a person is, the more they understand. The more one understands, the more there is to possibly be depressed about. With knowledge comes responsibility. With responsibility comes pressure. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. Smarter people just have more to worry about, because they realize more of what there is to be worried for.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      I would agree with you, ignorance truly is bliss when one begins to examine the state of world affairs, the economy, environmental issues, etc.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:09 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly

      I can definitely relate to that. I like that explanation.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
    • orrigionalbettina


      November 14, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
    • Logic

      DUMB people don't need drug , because there are on a drug called IGNORANCE.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
  16. Gwynn G

    Most likely to cope with being different and unable to express their intelligence plus it does make boring things more interesting. Society only wants you smart in certain ways particularly if you are female which might explain those numbers.

    You are supposed to be amused by simple things. You are supposed to be interested in what goes in people's lives. You are supposed to think remembering people's personal dates like their birthdays is actually very important. If you analyze things deeply (and aren't getting paid to do it) you considered to be wasting your time, you can be considered a downer because you make people think too hard or you are too serious. If you question things you could be considered disobedient or defiant. If you are smart you can end up feeling like you are some how wrong all the time. This can make you feel very dumb especially if you don't have the self-confidence to believe in your intuition.

    Having a higher intelligence does not necessarily equate to having a higher education. That has a lot more to do with where you come from and what you are exposed to growing up. Plus to get a higher education, first you have to survive bullying in public schools. For self-preservation what makes more logical sense to a child who is creative and smart, subject yourself to the horrible experience of public schools just so you can do well on infrequent tests of your intelligence or completely tune out and survive it but entertaining yourself in your own head?

    Maybe that's it, children with a higher intelligence have learned to cope by using their mental abilities to turn inwards to entertain themselves and drugs enable them to experience the outer world in a similar way.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Athlete08


      November 14, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly


      November 14, 2011 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • Gabriel

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      September 14, 2012 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
  17. j

    lol an IQ of 107 is not particularly high. "above average" would have been a more accurate description.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Dan

    I think this is true. Being of well above average IQ, I find myself at my wits end with the mindless people I am forced to deal with every day. Taking a toke or having a nice beer or three in the evening takes that edge off and helps me relax. Some people shouldn't be allowed out of their homes and into the general populace. They just screw things up for people who notice and care!

    November 14, 2011 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ummm

    it's because many are depressed!!! many do not fit into the crowd. they challenge their teachers because they are curious! but reprimanded!!! so they act out! most of the elite criminals in the world are brainiacs! look at the current cyber war! all nerds! they are bullied every day. they are tormented by their peers. so they fade out. they become loners. they become desperate for companionship and love. but they feel inept as society chastise and belittle them. so they turn to drugs to comfort their anger and frustrations.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • -_-

      I love you man

      November 16, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
  20. Billy

    Oh the pot head freak losers are going to love this article. If there are so "smart" how come they can't "relax" without getting high. LOSERS.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buddget

      you are a jerk that probably has a IQ around 78 and don't call yourself Billy.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Yes, the only true definition of being "smart" is to be able to "relax". I think that's why they give out so many Nobel prizes for relaxation.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      " If there are so "smart" .What level of education do you claim to have? Would you believe. "If they're so smart?" You have the unmitigated gall to infer that somebody else may be lacking in intellect or education? You must be joking.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • Satan

      LOL @ Billy. You sound like a bitter fool who now realizes the only reason you never smoked pot is because your IQ is less than 90. I no longer smoke pot because of my job as a computer scientist with regular drug testing.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly

      LOL @ Chuck in Jasper.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Gwynn G

      Meet exhibit A, "Billy"

      Billy exhibits insecure bullying behavior, an inability to emphathize, and an inability to control his emotions so to be around him is to be subject to his lashing out. Billy has low self-esteem combined with a lack of self-awareness and to cope, he seeks out other people/groups to undermine in order to boost his self-esteem. Despite the harm he is causing to harmless people, he has a sense of pride he's accomplished something.

      When someone with Billy's lack of intelligence/awareness who is in an underprivilidged situation exeriences stress, they will often persecute what they feel is a "lower" group. It is similar to what goes on within oppressed miniority groups. Instead of helping each other, there are splits within the group mimicking whatever class structure they are in. Shait rolls down hill and it doesn't stop at the door of a miniority group, it comes on in and keeps rolling.

      For Billy, drug users are his lower group because its illegal. He clings to this because there are so few things he feels higher than. We can't change him because he stakes too much of his ego on it.

      I wish we could just ignore Billy but unless he's eventually addressed, his behavior will continue to be disruptive and undermining to his (and our) environment. His actions will hamper productivity. In a healthy environment we can report him but because we are "drug users" authority figures will likely take his side.

      Billy has the advantage of despite being wrong, damaging, and unproductive he is being obedient by following a rule....don't do drugs. In our society, this makes him favoured by the vast majority who need rules to guide them.

      In the workplace though, Billy's advantage isn't quite so high. While he seeks out ways to undermine, I'm seeking out ways to do my job better. Unless Billy becomes my boss (lord help me and the company), I will likely be more valued as a productive member of staff.

      November 15, 2011 at 07:37 | Report abuse |
    • Gwynn G

      PS, if Billy does become my boss it can be a very dangerous situation for me, Billy and the Company. I'd likely be such a threat to Billy's ego that he'd feel a need to push me down and sabotage me so he could feel better about himself. Overtime, Billy could cause me severe problems and stress related illness. This is harrassement and if the company had no avenues to solve these issues (and lets face it, if Billy still has a job they probably don't), I'd likely make the company responsible for damages related to Billy's actions. Billy is what is known as a walking liability. People like Billy NEED lots of rules and need to be watched closely because they sense their own weekenesses but instead of working on themselves they have the tendancy to try to create and enforce damaging rules over other people and treat them in a way that undermines them to ensure their own superiority..

      November 15, 2011 at 07:59 | Report abuse |
  21. Texas Tumbleweed

    This is not too surprising. It's always seemed that the straight-arrow religious types were the dumb ones.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lizng

      Those are the ones that don't question!

      November 14, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
  22. Mr.727

    sHTY i STAY BLAZEd WHEN POSSIBLE! I easily get bored, and people that act "Normal" are not my cup of tea! I only smoke bud, don't drink, or smoke cigs!! Hell if congress had any damn sense they would get high all the time, then may the world would such a better place!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shawn R

      Yes, this one is obviously grant-worthy. Give him something, he will go far I'm sure.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:28 | Report abuse |
  23. Green

    I can only conclude that drug use increases intelligence.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. buddget

    Let see I scored about 175 as a child and now i am recovering from 30 years of boozing and drugging, go figure.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Lindy

    Self-reports, especially about personal matters, are notoriously unreliable. My best guess is that better educated people are more likely to report drug use (probably because they have greater belief in reserach confidentiality).

    Numerous other measures such as entry into drug treatment programs and crime stats show no such relationship between IQ and drug use, and ther is an inverse correlatoin between education and drug use.

    Go figure

    November 14, 2011 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CherokeeEgr

      "Numerous other measures such as entry into drug treatment programs and crime stats show no such relationship between IQ and drug use, and ther is an inverse correlatoin between education and drug use."

      It's not that I don't find this statement valid, and very likely also true, but it doesn't mean much as it stands. You should corroborate your post with a reply which contains links to these statistics.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
  26. tom manning

    Illegal drugs such as LSD, Psylocibin, marijuana are now gaining more and more acceptance for their medicinal value and for opening up creativity and insight. Francis Crick discovered DNA while tripping on LSD. Steve Jobs claimed that taking LSD was one of the most important things he did in his life. Psylocibin is now being given to people who are suffering from anxiety due to life threatening illnesses with FDA approval. MDMA is now being used to treat veterans who have PTSD and so on. Smart people know this.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      I strongly believe that if everyone did psilocybin or LSD-25 once in the lives, they would be much more caring and compassionate, and less concerned with petty behavior.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • Wayne, Canada

      I certainly gained tremendous insight one evening on 'shrooms while studying Kirchoff's voltage laws.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
  27. jeff

    People with higher IQs tend to take on takes that are more rigorous mentally then their counterparts with lower IQs, causing higher stress levels of which they treat with different substances.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Wayne, Canada

    From experience...

    It aided in the dumbing down experience at public school, and eventually was used numb the sensation at how corrupt our world is. Really the war in Libya, Afghanistan, the growing evidence of the fraud committed on 9/11, oh well, you get the picture.

    It had nothing to do with socio-economic factors whatsoever.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. me

    I got baked before the SATs and scored the highest in my school. Does that count? It was mostly the endless tedium (SAT word) of growing up in an extremely conservative area with really boring, closed-minded people around me. Needless to say, I got out of there as soon as I could and never looked back. I actually quit the herbal supplements a few years ago. just got sick of it. I stick to beer and the occasional scotch these days.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Tim

    I haven't had my IQ tested for some time, but as a child I tested into the high range. I've lived and worked most of my adult life overseas and have become fluent in 2 Asian language and a European language (other than my native English). I've traveled to over 75 countries during my adult life.

    I find that I don't relate to people in the USA. Even though I find that many people in the USA are quite friendly, most people in the USA have a very limited knowledge of the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is what I'm all about.

    I didn't smoke MJ very often in my life until my employer "repatriated" me to a job in the USA, with responsibilities only in the USA. Even though the position is a senior position, I just can't relate to the provincial mentality of American society. MJ provides the escape I need from a society that I no longer have anything in common with. Or perhaps I'll quit my job and return overseas doing whatever work I can find. I now smoke MJ in the evenings because I feel very out of place, a foreigner in my own country.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Maya

    Has there been research to see the percentage of these high IQ'd children to see if they are depressed? Ignorance can be bliss. Perhaps thinking too much = pain.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BillW

    The Brits might want to consider the possibility that the smarter people are the more aware they are of just how hopelessly screwed up England ios, therefore they escape from British reality through booze and pot.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wayne, Canada

      Close but you should extend the f_cked up region to include the entire globe

      November 14, 2011 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • Jagdish

      Stuff them with newspaper rlaley tight overnight or when you're not wearing them. This should gradually stretch them with the combonation of you wearing them every so often. Leather stretches quite easily anyway, i have to wear insoles in my shoes two weeks after buying them because they get about half a size bigger. Shoes sound nice =]. x

      September 14, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  33. JungleJargon

    "The "Just Say No" generation was often told by parents and teachers that intelligent people didn't use drugs. Turns out, the adults may have been wrong."

    The only problem with this reasoning is that they didn't recheck their IQ after using drugs. It doesn't mean that they still have a high IQ.

    The truth is that substance abuse will dull a person's intelligence.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzz

      My IQ is 122 and I have smoked pot for 35 years, drank regularly until last couple of years.
      I also know that greed is destroying the country and has blinded politician to do what is right.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Yes, substance ABUSE will dull anyone's senses, almost no matter what the substance is. But people can USE drugs, without abusing them. Not everyone is a raving maniac addict to pot sweetie.
      Only the DEA and the overabundantly ignorant think so.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
    • RexRegum

      Think of the effect of drug use (including alcohol) on the brain like natural selection. On the Serengeti, lions kill the slowest and weakest of the gazelles. Drugs do the same thing, killing the weakest of the brain cells, thus leaving the brain smarter and more efficient.

      November 15, 2011 at 02:57 | Report abuse |
  34. jdub

    ...Or only people who are idiots and don't have a life use drugs cause they cant fulfill themselves with anything else... yea I remeber when it was cool to do drugs... NOT

    November 14, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wayne, Canada

      You know little of what you speak. Are you a Congressman?

      November 14, 2011 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly

      If you wish to be taken seriously, please refrain from using name calling. It would also be best if you used proper spelling, grammar, and sentence structure when attempting to state your opinion.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
  35. j

    umm IQ 135 is only +2.33 SD above the norm; that's setting the bar for genius pretty low. If IQ >135 truly defined "genius," Steve Jobs would hardly have been exceptional.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. &

    Do they take into account people who OD'D and people who are mentally impaired from frequent drug use?

    November 14, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. IQ158Plus

    The only drugs I ever did were LSD many years ago. I was in a crappy unit in the Marine Corps, and my intelligence was routinely used against me (one X.O. I reported to opened up with "so you think you are smarter than everyone else" – without knowing jack about me). I never asked for it, never made a point of bringing it up, never even THOUGHT about putting others down. I just didn't fit in and it reflected in my service record book (preceding me by reputation). Like many careers, the Marines is hardly a good place for a person with an IQ over 120 – it only holds you back.

    So I can't say for certain that the IQ had much impact on me using LSD back then – but it probably didn't help.

    What I *can* say is that having a high IQ is quite different from how many people think it is – they tend to think "Numbers" represents a realistic high IQ experience, but that show is far more like MacGyver than reality. Here is what it's like for me (at least): I'm the last person to laugh at a joke because every conversation has to continuously compete with stray thoughts. I'm constantly forgetting pleasantries and failing to respond to spontaneous greetings or unexpected conversations because I've got a half dozen unfinished thoughts at any one time or thinking too far ahead of the conversation. My mind changes channels like a TV with a stuck channel button. When I *can* concentrate on one thing at a time, I will typically reach conclusions that far exceed the laboriously drawn out logic that represents the train of thought most people take (I have lots of practice letting them finish going over a list of things that seems brilliant to many, but represent only the first logical conclusions and nothing of derivative value). In other words, I have many issues coping with the mental processes themselves, and far fewer issues coping with the logical aspects. In the end, it tends to even itself out to some degree (unless you are into taking tests – in which case it's great having a high IQ – I constantly surprise people with being able to BS my way through reasonably advanced technical topics with minimal exposure to details – but it's still just BS and I know better than to think I've mastered those topics – which I had no desire to master in the first place). Language skills elude me, history eludes me – they just don't stay logically intact long enough to take up residency inside my memory.

    Long story short – high IQ is part gift, part curse. It doesn't help that people expect more from you or think you are "special" (haven't we learned yet that we are all special?!?). So yeah, no surprises here, but anyone with an IQ over 130 should immediately understand that (and without further explanation).

    November 14, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Garnet69

      Wow, my ADD must be getting really bad....I don't remember writing that. EVERYTHING you said describes my life to a "T".

      Over the last 20+ years since college, I have learned to dumb-down my speech so the average person can understand me. I sit and listen to people drone on about things even though I know exactly what they are going to say.

      You are correct, it is a blessing and a curse.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  38. Frank

    Morons rule the world! Smart people need to medicate to dumb down enough to work with the masses.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tairine

      You do not need to leave a little rvevloing debt .Pay off the balance every month is just as good. The credit card company makes money wherever the card is used. Typically between 25-50 cents per swipe from the terminal. So leaving debt on your card to be able to make a payment is a simple myth. As long as you use the card, and pay it off each month you are just as good as leaving debt on. That myth was created by the card companies to squeeze a little more out of the people who can manager thier debts. Cards and accounts get closed rarely for nonuse. And, that is when the card is absolutely not used not because the balance is paid off every month. There is a huge difference.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  39. Albert Einstein

    I smoked about 10 blunts a day for 45 years. Never would have come up with relativity if it weren't for acid so I'd have to agree with this study. Anybody got any 'ludes?

    November 14, 2011 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dznts

      The final form of the theory of relativity was published in 1916. LSD was first synthesized in 1943. You may be confusing Francis Crick's claim that LSD helped in developing a chemical model for DNA, possibly because you're high. As Einstein said, "only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

      November 14, 2011 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
  40. Joe citizen abroad

    Depression is higher among higher-IQ individuals too. Drugs are sometimes a way to blunt the pain of depression.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzz

      personal experience says you are correct.

      November 14, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Exactly

      I agree with this.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
  41. sharky

    People with High IQs also are more prone to social disorders.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. SD


    November 14, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tbridgman

    Since when is 107 a high IQ?

    November 14, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nunya

    Guess that blows the "Just say no" theory...... This has been common knowledge for over a decade, yet the "christian right wing" will continue to deny it simply because it means admitting they MIGHT be wrong! Hence the decline of church membership.....

    November 14, 2011 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. grace

    Drugs and psychedelics in particular have opened up whole new universes of abstract thought, creativity, and spirituality to me that I likely never would have discovered on my own. People who have used them know exactly what I'm talking about and people who haven't don't understand it and it's not something you can teach them. Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AGeek

    It's because those of us with higher intelligence need to dumb ourselves down to deal with the rest of you morons. The same ones who keep voting in Republicans ..who then make your life a living hell. I mean, that kind of stupidity is absolutely irreconcilable to a person of intelligence without the use of drugs.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzz

      Obama and the democrats aren't much better. We need to eliminate the 2 party system.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • ndlily

      Actually, it's dealing with the world in general. R or D doesn't matter. And that's what drives intelligent people to try to hide. We see that it's all the same, the masses led around by the nose because they can't tell they're being duped . . . and because we really DO need to test people before we allow them to vote, much less run for office.

      November 14, 2011 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
  47. kiki


    November 14, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Dave

    Why geniuses use drugs:

    Everything is too easy. You're bored all the time. And worst part of all, everyone else is a #!@$ing moron.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Radgast

    uh I am thinking stress relief

    November 14, 2011 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Average IQ

    Notice how everyone posting thinks they are above average intelligence.

    I feel so priviliged to be a part of this "uber" intellectual community!!!

    **ends sarcas**

    November 14, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Esteban

      The simple profundity of your statement is prodigious. That's pig latin for "I do drugs therefore I think."

      November 15, 2011 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
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