Are smart kids smart enough to avoid alcohol abuse?

No, not smart enough, it seems. Finnish researchers analysed 3,000 twins and found that children who learnt to speak or read faster were almost twice as likely to have alcohol problems as their twin by the time they reached 18. They were also at increased risk of getting drunk at least once a month. The researchers observed that intelligence that leads to earlier language skills may make people more willing to engage in risky behaviors. In addition, early speakers and readers had more friends than their twins, which could mean they were more involved in social situations where alcohol was available. Lead study author Antti Latvala noted, however, ‘even though an adolescent with good language and cognitive skills may experiment with drinking earlier than his/her less advanced peer, better verbal and intellectual abilities have [also] been found to be protective against developing severe problems with alcohol and other substances in adulthood.’

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