Academic integrity policies at 200 institutions of higher education (IHE’s) were examined for the presence of academic prohibitions against the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) or any other cognitive enhancing drug (CED). Researchers used online search tools to locate policy handbooks in a stratified random sample of IHE’s drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database, searching for NMUPS/CED use as violations of either academic integrity or alcohol and other drug (AOD) policies. Of 191 academic integrity policies found online, NMUPS/CED prohibitions were present in only one. However, NMUPS was addressed in all but two of the 200 IHE AOD policies, often with language referencing IHE adherence to federal or state law. NMUPS/CED prohibitions are predominantly absent in IHE academic integrity policies, raising questions about whether colleges and universities are concerned about the use of enhancement drugs as a form of cheating. Implications for fairness, health promotion, and future research are discussed.
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The development of this manuscript was supported in part by research grants T32DA007233, R01DA031160 and R01DA036541 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, writing of the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health. For the first author, work on this manuscript was supported by the T32DA007233 research grant. For the third author, work on this manuscript was supported by research grants R01DA031160 and R01DA036541.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
List of institutions of higher education (IHE) included in study sample
Abilene Christian University
Alabama State University
Alcorn State University
American Musical and Dramatic Academy
Bemidji State University
Berklee College of Music
Bluefield State College
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Bryn Mawr College
Buffalo State SUNY
California Lutheran University
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
California State University-Fullerton
Cardinal Stritch University
Carnegie Mellon University
Chamberlain College of Nursing-Missouri
Christian Brothers University
Claremont McKenna College
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Clayton State University
College for Creative Studies
College of the Ozarks
Columbia University in the City of New York
Coppin State University
CUNY Brooklyn College
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
CUNY Lehman College
CUNY Queens College
CUNY York College
Dalton State College
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Fashion Institute of Technology
Flagler College-St Augustine
Florida Atlantic University
Grambling State University
Johns Hopkins University
Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Louisiana State University and A&M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mississippi University for Women
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Mary College
Nevada State College
New York University
Oakland City University
Ohio State University
Pacific Union College
Penn State University
Prairie View A & M University
Purdue University-Calumet Campus
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roberts Wesleyan College
Saint Augustine’s University
San Diego State University
Southeastern Louisiana University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Spring Hill College
St Lawrence University
State University of New York at New Platz
Stevens Institute of Technology
SUNY College at Geneseo
SUNY College at Oneonta
SUNY College at Oswego
Texas A & M University-Commerce
Texas A & M University-Texarkana
Texas Christian University
Texas Wesleyan University
The Art Institute of Atlanta
The New England Institute of Art
The University of Tampa
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Connecticut
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Delaware
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Hawaii, Manoa
University of Idaho
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Indiana, Bloomington
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of La Verne
University of Maine, Orono
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri
University of Montana, Missoula
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of Nevada, Reno
University of New Mexico
University of North Dakota
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
University of South Dakota
University of South Florida-Main Campus
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of Texas, Austin
University of the Pacific
University of Utah
University of Vermont
University of West Alabama
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wyoming
University of South Carolina, Columbia
University of Virginia
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington Adventist University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St Louis
William Carey University
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Aikins, R., Zhang, X. & McCabe, S.E. Academic Doping: Institutional Policies Regarding Nonmedical use of Prescription Stimulants in U.S. Higher Education. J Acad Ethics 15, 229–243 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-017-9291-0
- Academic integrity
- Higher education
- Cognitive enhancement, nonmedical use of prescription stimulants