A survey of students at an unnamed Ivy League institution has found that 18 percent reported misusing drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in an attempt to gain an academic advantage at least once in college. And of these students, 24 percent said that they had done so on eight or more occasions. The students were split on whether this use of ADHD drugs was cheating: 33 percent of students did not think stimulant misuse for academic purposes was cheating, while 41 percent thought it was cheating and 25 percent were unsure.
"While many colleges address alcohol and illicit drug abuse in their health and wellness campaigns, most have not addressed prescription stimulant misuse for academic purposes," said Andrew Adesman, senior investigator for the research and chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "Because many students are misusing prescription stimulants for academic, not recreational purposes, colleges must develop specific programs to address this issue."