Campuses urged to address stimulant abuse by students

September 7, 2011

A Canadian Medical Association Journal editorial calls on post-secondary institutions to do more to protect their students from and educate them about the dangers of illicit stimulant use. The editorial notes that the perceived boost to academic performance due to stimulant use is a "pervasive myth," and most students seem unaware of the potential dangers associated with use of stimulants. As "ground zero for 'grade-boosting' stimulant abuse," colleges and universities should launch education campaigns that debunk myths and expose risks, as well as try to identify and address the root cause of stimulant abuse, the authors recommend. The editorial urges institutional administrators to be vigilant because, like in cases of binge and underage drinking, they could be held responsible for the consequences of stimulant abuse on campus. "Like doping in sports, abuse of stimulants by our best and brightest students should be denormalized by being viewed as cheating or substance abuse, pure and simple," the editorial concludes. CMAJ editorial | CBC | healthzone.ca