Universities must do more to tackle use of smart drugs

May 10, 2017 by

Academics call on institutions to consider measures such as drug testing to stem UK rise of drugs used to cope with exam stress

Universities must do more to tackle the growing number of students turning to “smart drugs” to cope with exam stress, leading academics have said.

UK institutions are being called on to consider measures such as drug testing to stem the rise of cognitive enhancement drugs being used by young people to improve their academic performance.

As hundreds of thousands of students across the UK prepare to sit their summer exams in coming weeks, Thomas Lancaster, an associate dean at Staffordshire University, said we were entering a “dangerous world” where students have access to the “study drugs”. He called on universities to have “frank discussions” with students and to develop policies around their use.

“Universities need to seriously consider how to react to the influx of smart drugs on campus. Educating students about smart drugs and seeing if they view this as cheating is important here. If the trend continues, universities may need to think about drug testing to ensure the integrity of the examination process,” Lancaster said.

Smart drugs, also known as nootropics, are a group of prescription drugs used to improve concentration, memory and mental stamina during periods of study. The most commonly used ones are Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall. These substances are normally used to treat disorders such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Source: Universities must do more to tackle use of smart drugs, say experts | Education | The Guardian

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