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Wesleyan's honor code, like those at many of the colleges that have them, focuses on academic matters as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Whaley said that over the past couple of years, about a half dozen students have come to him with complaints about prescription drug abuse.
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misuse in the honor code but the code of non academic conduct.
"As a community, we feel that integrity in our academic work is crucial," Whaley said. "We therefore felt that it was important to address this issue in our policy and set a clear expectation for adhering to our codes of conduct. Enforcement will be challenging, but we still felt it important to articulate the expectation."
As many as 20 percent of college students have used Ritalin or Adderall to study, write papers and take exams, according to recent surveys focused on college campuses like Wesleyan. A study released in 2008 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia found that the number of teenagers who admit to abusing prescription medications tripled from 1992 to 2003, while in the general population such abuse had doubled.
One student in particular was senior Bradley Spahn. A major influence on the university's ruling, Spahn said he got the idea when he was assigned a 24 hour take home exam for class. It was only after the exam was submitted that Spahn learned that nearly half his class took the so called "study drugs" to help them focus on the exam.
During the 2008 09 academic year, Spahn encouraged Wesleyan to catalog the abuse of prescription drugs as cheating, particularly when it came to schoolwork. Wesleyan's honor code review committee looked into the matter but ultimately decided not to include the drug Louboutin Fififa
misuse of prescription drugs, Wesleyan University has modified its student code of conduct related to drug and alcohol use.
Research has shown that the vast majority of students who use prescription drugs use them for studying, mainly around college midterms and final exams. A December 2008 study that surveyed approximately 3,400 students at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that about 94 percent of students who reported using medications like Ritalin and Adderall without a prescription did so in order to concentrate better, study longer or to feel less restless while studying.
"We have no reason to believe that the misuse of prescription drugs has increased at Wesleyan, but national survey data seems to indicate that such misuse is becoming a concern nationally," Whaley said. "However, we have not found that misuse of prescription drugs is common among our students."
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Wesleyan seeks to halt use of drugs used to enhance student performance
The study also found that non prescription users were more likely to belong to a fraternity or sorority and to have lower grade point averages.
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The medications under scrutiny Ritalin, Adderall and Xanax, among others are stimulants that are generally prescribed for children and adults who have attention or behavioral disorders. And with more than 50 million teenagers diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, many know of a friend who can supply.
In the United States, abuse of prescription drugs "is now the second most important drug abuse issue after cannabis," according to the International Narcotics Drug Board, with 6.2 million people hooked on them in 2008.
The abuse of prescription drugs is one of college campuses' best kept secrets. They don't require a wet towel under a door, open windows or even mellow neighbors. A single pop and it's as if that pill had never existed.
The policy change is not based on concerns over health, safety or illegality, but rather the fact that prescription drugs like Ritalin and other stimulants meant to enhance student performance violate the university's honor code.
Though the code addresses things like plagiarism and drug abuse, it seems only one portion could conceivably be applied toward the use of prescription drugs.
"Wesleyan University does not condone any form of illicit drug use, and our student, academic and professional policies reflect this," said Michael Whaley, vice president of student affairs, in a statement.
Since Ritalin abuse first hit the radar screen several years ago, the reliance on prescription stimulants to enhance student performance has risen exponentially, cementing itself as a necessity almost as commonplace as Red Bull and maybe even caffeine, according to the Center for Disease Control and the International Drug Control Board.
For those individuals who have a disorder, prescription drugs work to help them focus and maintain their concentration on a given task. Prescription drugs also give those without a disorder a surge of energy and increased ability to focus, two of the main reasons young people, particularly college students seek them out.
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