I was using google today, because I am not smart enough to know how to control the slide speed of a JSlider in wordpress. For some reason after that search, I typed in “Are Alcoholics” and I was going to put in “procrastinators”, but the auto fill put in “Are Alcoholics Smart” as the question and guess what? Smart people are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than their lower IQ’d brethren, according to this article in Psychology Today.
Dr. Kanazawa has reissued his assertion that more intelligent people binge drink and get drunk more, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The following data from that study relate childhood IQ to binge drinking and drunkenness:
“Very dull” Add Health respondents (with childhood IQ < 75) engage in binge drinking less than once a year. In sharp contrast, “very bright” Add Health respondents (with childhood IQ > 125) engage in binge drinking roughly once every other month.
The association between childhood intelligence and adult frequency of getting drunk is equally clear and monotonic. . . . “Very dull” Add Health respondents almost never get drunk, whereas “very bright” Add Health respondents get drunk once every other month or so.
Specifically, are more intelligent people more likely to be alcoholics?
I can think of three possibilities:
- Although smarter people (as measured in childhood) get drunk more, they are less likely than dull people to become alcoholics. Does that mean that they are inured against alcoholism? The dominant theory here would be that being smart is a protective life asset.
- They are just as likely to become alcoholics. Which would still be somewhat counterintuitive, since despite getting drunk far more often than dull people, they are no more likely to succumb to alcoholism.
- Smart people are more likely to be alcoholics. This could follow from several theories of behavior: smart people tempt fate by drinking more, and thus they are more likely to become alcoholics. Or, smart people are inherently more likely to be alcoholics – perhaps being smart makes them more acutely aware of the world’s problems, or creates other damaging emotional states.
In response to this article, I would say I agree that perhaps people who think more or too much, let all kinds of problems get blown way out of proportion, and think that a drink or drug will dull their senses of worry.
I think of myself as a bright person, bright enough that I thought I would never let any substance get the best of me. But I was wrong. So I think I have re-evaluated my brightness quotient in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps it’s better to just have some good common sense. Something I am well aware I lack. Just food for thought.