Science and Tech


Ivy Leaguers Admit To Taking ADHD Meds To Boost Grades

A new study shows one in five Ivy League college students admit to misusing ADHA medication to help study or write papers.
Posted at 8:29 PM, May 02, 2014

Adderall and studying. Two things that go together for many college students. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Patrick Mallahan IIIParentingPatch

That's according to a new study. A survey taken by about 600 students at an anonymous Ivy League college showed almost one in five students admitted to using attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication as a stimulant to do better in school. 

Researchers also found that varsity athletes or who were affiliated with the Greek system were more likely to misuse ADHD meds. However, juniors reported the highest use at 24 percent. The majority of students said they took the pills to help on a test or writing a paper. (Via YouTube / Bootleg Productions

"A third of students did not think stimulant misuse was cheating while 40 percent did view it as dishonest." (Via KGET)

In response to those stats, CEO of Psych Central Dr. John Grohol wrote, "It's almost as if these college kids need to crack open a dictionary once in a while. Cheating is 'to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.' If you’re not taking an ADHD drug for ADHD but rather for its brain-boosting effects, guess what? — that’s cheating."

Grohol compared students taking adderall to an athlete pumping steroids — a parallel that one student even agreed with years ago.

"Baseball players take steroids to be the best and students take Adderall to be the best."

"So it's like an academic steroid?"

"Yeah, it's like a steroid for school." (ViaNBC)

"Hi, I'm Bob. Do you want to call your Grandma, make an A on your test, go to class and go to work? Then take adderall. It's what's for dinner." (Via YouTube / Pierce Kafka

Although the new study does shed light on abuse in Ivy League schools, the misuse of the drug is nothing new. There are endless years-old documentaries and articles on adderall and the so called epidemic of its misuse. (Via YouTube / studydrugsJon Bennett | Jason Williams, The Huffington Post, The Clinton Foundation

ADHD medication is generally safe for those that need it but abusing the medication can lead to adverse affects. 

Including potentially fatal heart and blood pressure problems, addiction,weight loss, allergic reaction and more. (Via WebMD)

And a doctor noted to NBC adderall use could lead to legal troubles. "It’s unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The law isn’t going to look at someone any differently if they gave their drugs to a friend or if they sold those drugs downtown for some extra cash. These kids are jeopardizing their futures."

In the press release the researchers, from ​Vancouver, made the interntions of the study very clear. 

"It is our hope that this study will increase greater awareness and prompt broader discussion about misuse of medications like Ritalin or Adderall for academic purposes... It is important that this issue be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective: as an issue relevant to the practice of medicine, to higher education and to ethics in modern-day society." (Via Eurekalert