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Higher Ed in the News

Popping pills to boost brain power

April 26, 2010

A surprising number of students on college and university campuses are turning to drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, originally developed to treat attention disorders, to boost their brain power and help them make the grade.

Katie Couric spoke to many students about the misuse of ADHD medications. Some said they tried Adderall or a similar medication, some said they hadn't, and most didn't say one way or another.

Alan DeSantis, a communications professor at the University of Kentucky, says he was so baffled by his students' casual use of Adderall, he decided to study it.

In a survey of nearly 2,000 students at the university, DeSantis found that 34 percent of undergraduates overall had taken attention deficit drugs illegally without a prescription. And that number climbs the longer they're in school.

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Read more from CBS's 60 Minutes.