Would Taking “Study Drugs” Be Considered Cheating?

October 29th, 2010

Adderall. Ritalin. Those of us who have been to college know of the stresses that come with trying to maintain a great GPA, and I am sure many of us know the pressures with being the best. And many have been known to take the aforementioned study pills – small amphetamines that some call “academic steroids” – to attempt to boost their academic standing.

While many schools have a school policy that could punish its students for intake, most of them refer to either prescription or illegal drugs. However, Wesleyan University recently held an honor code to attempt to include “study drugs” into the policy, with questions about fairness and cheating in mind. The school board ultimately decided not to after the discussions ended. One of the chairmen claimed “I didn’t feel that it could be prosecuted,” citing the difficulty in proving that a student was in possession of study drugs and using them in the time necessary to prepare for a paper or test.

Michael Whaley, vice president for student affairs at Wesleyan, stated that the university does not “condone any form of illicit drug use” and that there is “no reason to believe that the misuse of prescription drugs has increased at Wesleyan,” but he acknowledged that “national survey data seems to indicate that such misuse is becoming a concern nationally.”

Colleges across the country have raised concerns about drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall, as well as the difficulty in managing the abusers. The associate Dean of Students at Trinity College stated that “It is an unfair advantage when someone is using these kinds of drugs inappropriately.”

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