Thanks to Bob for bringing this piece from CNN on Neuroenhancement to my attention. Here are two of the more interesting bits from the article:
DeSantis' research found that 30% of students at the university have illegally used a stimulant, like the ADHD drugs Adderall or Ritalin. The numbers increase with upperclassmen. Half of all juniors and seniors have used the drugs, the study found, and 80% of upperclassmen in fraternities and sororities have taken them.
Students apparently don't see it that way. Another telling statistic from DeSantis' research at the University of Kentucky is how dangerous the students think these cognitive enhancing stimulants are. They say they see Adderall as slightly more dangerous than the soft drink Mountain Dew and nowhere near as dangerous as drinking beer and smoking.
So, there are two related issues at work here: On the one hand, the use and potential abuse of stimulants as neuroenhancers appears to be widespread. On the other hand, this situation is presumably partly being fueled by misinformation.
One of the students interviewed for the article identified Adderal as the cause of his improved academic performance:
He aced the test and got an A in the class. It's something Gabay has seen happen over and over since he started taking study drugs. He says he used to get Cs, but now with the help of Adderall, it's B's and A's.
Given how much can be at stake when it comes to your college grades, it's understandable that students would look for an edge. However, it is taking "study drugs" morally appropriate or is it tantamount to cheating? What do you think?