This the second in a series from Dana Goldstein of the Justice Lab at The Marshall Project, Top 10 (Not Entirely Crazy) Theories Explaining the Great Crime Decline:
The happy pill thesis
Psychologists David Finkelhor and Lisa Jones suggest that crimes committed both by and against young people declined because of the ways in which antidepressants and anti-ADHD medications, like Prozac and Ritalin, improved human behavior and moods.
Rosenfeld considers this work fascinating but preliminary. “There are individual children who were highly aggressive, started their regimen of Adderall, and then calmed down. But it’s a far cry from that connection to suggest the population rate of crime has come down as a consequence of the spread of this new type of medication. Case not proved.”
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