Use of "study drugs" rising on Canadian campuses

April 11, 2011

The National Post reports that evidence is slowly emerging that the idea of using ADHD medication for non-medical "cognitive enhancement" is becoming entrenched on Canadian campuses. A University of Toronto psychiatrist estimates that at least one in 4 of his university-aged ADHD patients admit to giving away some of their medication to friends for such purposes. Actual data on the extent of the practice are still hard to come by, but a recent random survey of 400 McGill University students suggested 5.4% had taken one of the "study drugs" for cognitive enhancement at least once, though fewer had done so recently. The phenomenon raises a number of issues, from the drugs' rare but potentially serious side effects to the question of whether taking them as study boosters amounts to cheating or "academic doping." National Post