Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-809
Authors: Franke, Andreas
Lieb, Klaus
Hildt, Elisabeth
Title: What users think about the differences between caffeine and illicit/prescription stimulants for cognitive enhancement
Online publication date: 15-Oct-2012
Language: english
Abstract: Pharmacological cognitive enhancement (CE) is a topic of increasing public awareness. In the scientific literature on student use of CE as a study aid for academic performance enhancement, there are high prevalence rates regarding the use of caffeinated substances (coffee, caffeinated drinks, caffeine tablets) but remarkably lower prevalence rates regarding the use of illicit/prescription stimulants such as amphetamines or methylphenidate. While the literature considers the reasons and mechanisms for these different prevalence rates from a theoretical standpoint, it lacks empirical data to account for healthy students who use both, caffeine and illicit/prescription stimulants, exclusively for the purpose of CE. Therefore, we extensively interviewed a sample of 18 healthy university students reporting non-medical use of caffeine as well as illicit/prescription stimulants for the purpose of CE in a face-to-face setting about their opinions regarding differences in general and morally-relevant differences between caffeine and stimulant use for CE. 44% of all participants answered that there is a general difference between the use of caffeine and illicit/prescription stimulants for CE, 28% did not differentiate, 28% could not decide. Furthermore, 39% stated that there is a moral difference, 56% answered that there is no moral difference and one participant was not able to comment on moral aspects. Participants came to their judgements by applying three dimensions: medical, ethical and legal. Weighing the medical, ethical and legal aspects corresponded to the students' individual preferences of substances used for CE. However, their views only partly depicted evidence-based medical aspects and the ethical issues involved. This result shows the need for well-directed and differentiated information to prevent the potentially harmful use of illicit or prescription stimulants for CE.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
DOI: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-809
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC-BY
Information on rights of use: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Journal: PLoS one
7
6
Pages or article number: e40047
Publisher: PLoS
Publisher place: Lawrence, Kan.
Issue date: 2012
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040047
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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