Are Depressed Teens More Likely to Commit Crimes?

While it’s no secret that users of illicit drugs are statistically more likely to commit a violent crime, new research is suggesting that illicit drugs may not be the only problem. A study conducted by researchers from Oxford University has suggested that teens and young adults who regularly take antidepressants were significantly more likely to commit a violent crime.

Previous Studies Were Flawed

This latest study, which was published in PLOS Medicine, has supported the conclusions of some previous research. One earlier study, which did have some major flaws, concluded that certain antidepressants increased the likelihood of violent behavior in both adults and children. The PLOS study, however, found that there was no significant difference in adult violence, and the phenomenon only seemed to impact younger people. The antidepressants in question are one of the most commonly prescribed types of psychiatric medication, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Read the full study here.

A Significant Increase in Violent Crime

The researchers for this study took a look at Swedish national registers to collect data on SSRI prescriptions and violent crime statistics. Ultimately, they found that young people and teens between 15 and 24 were 43% more likely to commit a violent crime while on SSRI antidepressants. In addition to a higher risk of arrest for a violent crime, they also had an increased arrest rate for non-violent crimes.

How Do Antidepressants Make You More Violent?

Unfortunately this research only suggests a link between violent crime and SSRIs, and does not shed any light as to why these drugs may be causing violent behavior. Some researchers involved with the study have speculated that young people may not be receiving the correct dose of the medication. Others have suggested that the underlying psychiatric condition may have a bigger role than the drugs themselves.

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While there isn’t well-proven link between violent crime and SSRIs, this subject will undoubtedly receive more attention in the research community moving forward. If future research continues to support the conclusions of the PLOS study, we will likely see Boise criminal defense lawyers using SSRI prescriptions as a potential defense against violent crime charges.

At Bublitz Law, P.C., our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of criminal cases. More importantly, they understand how to craft a strong and effective defense on behalf of our clients. When you retain our firm, we will work tirelessly to defend your rights and freedom.

If you’re facing criminal charges, you need tough defense. Call Bublitz Law, P.C. at (208) 286-2111 today.

Categories: Criminal Defense