Smart Teens Are More Likely To Use Cannabis And Alcohol, New Study Says

First Posted: Feb 28, 2017 03:13 AM EST

While people stereotype smart kids as losers and party poopers, a recent study brings a shocking revelation. It turns out being smart does not mean resisting to smoke a joint or ditching a party to stay in and study.

The Huffington Post reported that teens that got high scores on their academic exams are almost twice as likely to smoke pot when they reach ages 18 to 20 as those who got lower grades. The study also shows that the smarter group is more likely to drink alcohol but less likely to smoke cigarettes.

For the study, James Williams and Gareth Hagger-Johnson at the University College London Medical School looked at the data involving 6,000 students across England. The participants were grouped into three based on their results from a nationwide test they have taken at age 11. Subsequently, the researchers tracked the surveys answered by these students regarding marijuana, cigarette and alcohol use at ages 13 to 17 and 18 to 20.

Study shows that those who scored high in the test were 50 percent more likely to smoke pot occasionally and almost twice as likely to use cannabis persistently as those who got lower grades. On their late teenage years, the smarter group was more than twice as likely to drink alcohol occasionally and persistently than the less gifted students.

The researchers have warned, however, that just because pot smokers and alcohol drinkers were considered to be in the smarter class, this does not mean it should be taken as an approval for those who use these substances. Previous studies show that marijuana can be harmful to a developing brain, and drinking alcohol has been linked to dangerous car accidents and alcohol poisoning.

"Understanding the risk factors for adolescent substance use can inform public health policymaking and help target interventions for those in high-risk groups," the researchers wrote as quoted by The Telegraph.

This study was published in the journal BMJ Open.

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