The prescription drugs, such as stimulants for ADHD, are used to boost academic performance in healthy students looking for an edge, according to the study. The American Academy of Neurology says prescribing the study drugs raises dozens of ethical, legal, social and developmental concerns.
"One of the issues, in terms of the safety issues, is that sometimes people combine these medications with other illicit medications, or with alcohol and, you know, we just don't know how safe they are," Mark Stein, Ph.D., ADHD expert, University of Illinois Hospital, said.
Experts also say many students get the drugs illegally.
The group has recommended guidelines, including comprehensive medical assessment, management recommendations, and ethical considerations, for doctors. The message appears to be that healthy kids should focus on learning, the old-fashioned way.